Who are we? Mentor Me is a school-based youth mentoring program that began at McNear Elementary School in 2000 and, as of today, serves just over 400 children at 21 schools. We recruit adult volunteers from the community and match them in mentoring relationships with children in need of a little extra support. Petaluma City Schools, Old Adobe Union School District and Waugh School District provide in-kind donations of facilities, utilities and custodial help for our Mentor Centers on their school sites. We are a non-profit, community-based 501(c)(3) organization with Federal Tax ID 20-8525688.
What does it take to be a mentor with Mentor Me? Be available to volunteer one hour a week during the school year. Be available to make a two-year commitment to the program. Mentors receive initial orientation and on-going training. Experienced mentors and counselors are available for consult. School Site Coordinators make the best mentor match possible and provide on-going supervision and support to the mentorships.
What would I do as a mentor? Mentors and mentees spend time together – talking, reading or playing games.
Why do children need mentors and how is this program good for the whole community? Typically, at-risk children have difficulty focusing in school, their attendance and participation may be low, their behavior often disrupts the classroom and playground, their nutrition, hygiene and sleep habits are often poor and they lack self-confidence and resilience. They may drop out of school, join a gang, begin drinking or using drugs at an early age, or indulge in other risky and self-destructive behavior. Mentoring has proven to help in all these areas. Not only are the children helped, but the mentors report great satisfaction in their mentoring role. The community becomes more cohesive with these cross-generational and, often, cross-cultural relationships.
Where does funding come from? Donations come from a mix of local individuals and businesses, which also give in-kind donations of goods and services. Foundation grants are an important source of income. The State of California no longer supports mentoring programs financially and Federal money is continually reduced.
How can I help? Individuals can support this valuable non-profit organization by volunteering to be a mentor or by making a financial or in-kind donation. Businesses can support in a number of ways, too. Our Program Sponsorship offers a number of ways to become involved financially in return for recognition. As an employer, you can also help by allowing employees time off from work in order to volunteer as mentors. Contact us at info(at)wrmm.org or 707.778.4798 to learn more.