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Mentor A Youth

Currently in Orange County there are over 2,500 children in the foster care system in out-of-home care. Annually almost 300 foster care teens turn 18 and are released from the foster care system ("emancipate") to find their way in the world--without the benefit of a loving family to guide and support them. They can easily become homeless, unemployed, involved in destructive relationships or worse.

The Orangewood Children's Foundation Mentor Program works to make a difference in these young people's lives by filling a need that has been sadly lacking for many - a caring, stable adult who encourages their pursuit of a better life. We are seeking mentors to actively participate with the increasing number of foster youth in our programs.

Our goal is to be able to provide a mentor for every foster youth who desires one. Are you willing to make a difference in the life of a young person?

»Mentoring Opportunities
»Mentor Requirements
»Mentor Committment
»Contact us for more information

Mentoring Opportunities:
We are in need of committed and supportive mentors for foster care youth, ages 12-18, and emancipated foster youth ages 18-25. Depending on the age of the child, mentors typically introduce their youth to cultural and other community events, help develop life skills including money management, provide direction with education and career goals, and generally provide a listening ear for a young person. Our Mentor Coordinator will match you with a foster youth based on a variety of factors including gender, common interests and location.

»Please note that our Mentor Program is NOT an academic internship opportunity.

Mentor Requirements:
To become an Orangewood Mentor, you must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Complete a mentor application and interview
  • Pass a background check, reference check and fingerprinting
  • Submit a copy of driver's license and auto insurance
  • Not have any major moving violations in the past four years such as a DUI or reckless driving
  • Submit a signed confidentiality agreements
  • Complete the Mentor Academy
  • Attend on-going training sessions at least once per quarter
  • Commit to a match for a minimum of one year
  • Have a desire to help a young person
Mentor Commitment:
Our goal for our Mentor Program is to create meaningful mentoring relationships that enrich the lives of both individuals and increase the odds of future success for the young person. In the interest of serving our youth who are seeking a mentor, our Mentor Program is NOT an academic internship opportunity.

As a mentor, you will generally meet with your youth a minimum of twice a month, usually for a meal or a leisure activity, for a total of 4-15 hours per month. At other times and depending on the age range of your child, you may attend cultural or academic events together, or help the youth with daily living activities such as completing a job application. Regular email and telephone contact is also encouraged. Occasionally we offer group activities for mentors and youth, such as workshops and holiday parties. As an Orangewood mentor, you are asked to make a commitment for one year.

Think you might be interested?
If so, please contact Dena Nassef, Mentor Program Coordinator, at dnassef@orangewoodfoundation.org.

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