Becoming a Mentor is Easy!
Real Connections pairs caring adult mentors with youth (ages 18 – 26) in transition. These youth are preparing to leave foster care, with many coming from a background of abuse and/or neglect. These vulnerable youth face many barriers and are often left without the supports outside of the “system,” that they need to achieve some basic skills such as finding a job, applying to college, keeping an apartment, handling money, or making decisions that will advance their independence.
What does it mean to be a mentor?
To be a mentor means that you are making a difference in the life of a teen in foster care, but it is so much more! To be a mentor means you are helping a young person reach for the stars, chase their dreams, and achieve their goals! You are there to cheer on their successes and encourage them through the challenges of life.
To be a mentor means that you commit to meeting with your mentee for a minimum of an hour per week for one year. Visits are mutually agreeable, fun and goal oriented. But nothing says it better than our mentors can:
“It has been life changing. It added someone to our family that I never knew was missing.” Lisa, Mentor of 3 years
Real Connections staff are always available for ongoing support. This consistent communication can be critical, especially if mentors and mentees need additional support or are experiencing challenges in the relationship.
Real Connections FAQ
Think you are ready to become a mentor, here’s how:
As we help you to become a mentor we also need to ensure the safety and well-being of the youth we serve. Our goal is to successfully pair youth with positive, responsible, and dedicated adults committed to helping youth develop their full potential. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. To get started:
- A completed application Real Connections Mentor Application (PDF) with a signed and submitted Real Connections Application Signature (PDF) page
- Three personal references
- Clearances – Rhode Island State Background Check and Child Abuse
- Neglect Tracking System
- Individual interview
- Training session conducted by Foster Forward staff
Reasons you would make a great positive adult connection:
- You see teenagers as individuals with the potential to achieve greatness
- You have one hour a week or two hours every other week you can dedicate to this youth, with additional phone and/or email contact
- You are willing to make at least a one year commitment to a youth
- You can be dependable
- You enjoy sharing ideas and talents with others
- You possess a sense of humor
- You can encourage setting and achieving goals
- You want the opportunity to give back