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There are many ways to support young people and foster a culture of mentoring in your community. MENTOR New York can connect you to a variety of volunteer opportunities that leverage your talents and passions in ways that best help our youth.

Become a mentor, start a mentoring program, or advocate for more mentoring opportunities — and help us close the mentoring gap. 


Get Started

You have made a wonderful and very important decision in choosing to become a mentor. Before you start to look at the programs that are available, think about and identify your own interests and needs. Finding a mentoring program you’re excited about and comfortable with can require some time and thought, but the good news is that there’s something for everyone. The following steps will help walk you through the process of choosing a mentoring program that is right for you. To help you decide which type of mentoring program you want, ask yourself the following questions: What time commitment can I make? What age of youth would I like to work with? Would I like to work with one child or with a group of children? Would I like to team with other adults to mentor a child or a group of children? What types of activities interest me? Do I want to help a youth learn a specific skill, pursue an interest, help with schoolwork, or just be a caring adult friend? What mentoring location would I prefer? While thinking about these questions, remember to be open and flexible to all the different mentoring programs and focus areas that are out there.

Find the Right Program

As you start to review the mentoring programs available to you, be sure to consider at least three different organizations. You are offering to make a substantial commitment of your time. Be thorough in investigating your options before you choose the program that best suits your needs. After you have selected several possible programs, talk to each organization’s volunteer coordinator. Tell the coordinator you are thinking about mentoring a young person—or a group of young people—and would like to know if their organization offers volunteer opportunities for adults. Describe the amount of time you have, the types of activities you are interested in and the number of children you would like to mentor. Ask about the process the program uses to match young people with mentors. Identify the different mentoring options the program offers (one-to-one mentoring, team mentoring, short-term mentoring, one-time projects, etc.). Ask the coordinator about training and support for volunteers and about the application and screening process. The application process can include a written application, personal and professional references, a background check, and a personal interview. Don’t be discouraged if the first program you select doesn’t match your needs or you don’t match its needs. If that happens, try again! After selecting a program that feels like a good fit, you will move on to the application process.


Direct Referral

If you're unable to find a mentoring program using the form above, MENTOR New York can provide you with a direct referral. Simply fill out the interest form, and a member of our team will be in touch to learn more about the type of opportunity you're looking for. We'll then provide you with two to three programs that fit your interest. 

Find a Mentor

Are you a parent, guardian, teacher, or caring adult to a young person whom you feel could benefit from a mentor? Mentors build relationships with young people by offering them guidance, support, and encouragement to help cultivate positive and healthy development — many of the same things you do. Mentors are not meant to replace parents, guardians, or teachers, or to play the role of disciplinarians or decision makers. Rather, they become part of a team of caring adults to that young person.

MENTOR New York partners with over 1300 mentoring programs across New York State and can pair young people with a program that's right for them. Click below to learn more about the different types of programs available in your community, or search the Mentoring Connector database.


Start a Mentoring Program

Do you see a gap in your school, company, organization, or community where mentoring could help build positive relationships and enhance opportunities for young people? Then consider starting a mentoring initiative!

MENTOR New York can support you every step of the way, from finding mentors to managing day-to-day operations. We offer training, resources, site visits, and ongoing support to help you create and run an effective mentoring program.


Become an Advocate

One pillar of our work involves spreading awareness about the benefits of mentoring — and empowering New Yorkers to become champions for the mentoring movement. 

If you're not sure you can commit to becoming a mentor at this time but still want to get involved, why not become an advocate for mentoring?


This could include one-time mentoring opportunities like signing up for a speed mentoring event, or a career day where you share your career journey with young people. You can also join the Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) and contribute your time and talents to supporting MENTOR New York's fundraising efforts. 

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Join the YPAB

The Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) is a group of emerging philanthropic leaders who dedicate their time, talents, networks, and resources to raise awareness and support for MENTOR New York.

Members have the unique opportunity to serve as advocates for MENTOR New York and the mentoring movement, while advancing personal, professional, and leadership goals. Each year, the YPAB play an instrumental role in the coordination of our annual fundraising event, the MENTOR of the Year Awards.

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