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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I help a young person? I’m not a counselor.
A: Neither are most of our mentors. They are just people willing to become a friend. Showing that you care and spending some enjoyable time with a young person is what Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is all about. 

Q: I don’t think I have enough time.
A: Think of it as a legitimate reason to have fun for a couple hours a week. While we require that you spend a minimum of one or two hours together, there are flexible ways of meeting this requirement. Your activity may be something that you already do by yourself or with your family. When you have a busy week or go on vacation, just spend some extra time with your mentee when you are available. You can talk to us about scheduling meetings with your mentee on a more flexible schedule. If you can’t make a weekly time commitment, talk with us about the many other ways you can support the mentoring program. 

Q: I don’t think I can afford this.
A: Being a mentor does cost some money, but we discourage you from spending too much. Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program will offer a range of free and low cost activities to you. And you can take your mentee to the park, the library, or hiking, work on a project at home, or cook dinner together. 

Q: I don’t want to work with just any young person.
A: That’s not what we want either. We interview all of our volunteers and young people to find out what type of person each wants for a mentor or mentee. When we locate a mentee with whom we feel you will work effectively, we will give you a call and tell you about her/him. Then you decide. If you — and the young person — say “yes,” then we arrange an introduction. 

Q: I’m not sure I want to do this all by myself.
A: You won’t. You will meet other mentors in the training sessions. The program staff will be in regular contact with you to answer questions and solve any problems that might arise, and you can call the program for help at any time. You can share ideas with other program participants at our activities, training sessions, and support groups. 

Q: What can I expect as a volunteer?
A: Expect to have fun while you work at building a relationship. Expect to be patient and not easily discouraged. For example, your mentee may not do a lot of the talking for a while and may not be consistent about calling you on the phone. Remember that changes occur slowly; small things can be rewarding. Don’t worry. The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program staff will be checking in to see how things are going every week. We are here to give you support and to present fun group activities and useful workshops for you and your mentee.