Welcome to Mentoring For Success! Thank you for your interest in being a volunteer mentor.
Mentoring For Success strives to build student assets by matching youth with a caring adult at school. Mentoring is a research-validated practice that leads to school success, regular attendance, and pro-social behavior. Please join us!
Please fill out this Be A Mentor form to get started (for both SFUSD employees and SF community members)
How Mentoring Works
- Mentoring is a structured, consistent, and purposeful one-to-one relationship between a young person and a caring adult.
- Mentors serve as positive role models and encourage and motivate students to become their best.
- Mentoring is not case management, therapy, or teaching.
- Mentoring first focuses on relationships building to establish mutual trust, respect, and friendship. Once these building blocks are in place, mentoring can start to address specific goals and sensitive issues.
- Mentors offer students a pathway to expand their life perspectives, overcome obstacles and build on their strengths to make positive choices and develop essential school and life skills.
- Mentoring is a proven strategy to build resiliency and life skills. Students in consistent mentoring relationships have been shown to be:
- less likely to begin using drugs or alcohol
- less likely to engage in violence
- more likely to attend school
- more likely to have a positive attitude toward school (Public/Private Ventures Big Brothers Big Sisters Study, 1995)
- more likely to be positive toward elders and toward helping others (Jakielek et al., 2002)
How the Mentoring For Success Program Works
- This is a school-based program. Mentor pairs meet weekly on the school site for approximately one hour during the school year and also have contact during the summer.
- A Mentor Program Coordinator at the school site manages all aspects of the program to support mentors and their student mentees.
- Mentors engage in a variety of asset-building activities with students on school grounds.
- The program considers the individual needs and culture of each student.
- Group activities are held during the school year and in the summer months.
- Students may be referred to the mentor program by school staff. Students are invited to participate and parent/guardian consent is required.
Mentoring for Success provides students with highly qualified and effective mentors who engage students in asset-building activities to build skills for school success, attendance, and problem-solving.
Mentors serve as positive role models and motivate students to become their best. They offer students a pathway to expand their life perspectives, overcome obstacles and build on their strengths to make positive choices and develop essential school and life skills. Mentors are not case managers or therapists. They are caring adults committed and skilled at building relationships with young people.
Responsibilities and Commitments
- Mentors must be SFUSD employees or Volunteers with the proper background clearance to work with students
- Attend mentor orientation and training session(s)
- Commit to meeting with a student weekly (at their school) for one hour for a full school year (all mentoring is paused during the summer months)
- Document student visits and activities in the Online Activity Log
- The mentor-student relationship is one-to-one. If a mentor is willing and available, he or she may mentor 2 students with the approval of the Mentor Program Site Coordinator
- Attend scheduled, monthly mentor program events planned at the school site
- Meeting with students off-campus is not a requirement and is not permitted during the first three months of the match. Any visit/activity off campus must have a signed permission slip from the parent on file with the Mentor Program Site Coordinator and documented in the Online Activity Log.
- Personal vehicles may only be used to transport students with authorization and proper documentation; public transportation, walking, or bicycling are preferable.
- Maintain confidentiality. Mentors are mandated reporters and must inform the Mentor Program Site Coordinator or other authorities if they learn of anything that may pose any danger or threat to the student or someone else.
- Notify the Mentor Program Site Coordinator and mentee as soon as possible if you are unable to continue mentoring. A closure meeting will be facilitated by the Site Coordinator.
- Have fun!
How to Sign Up
Below are the steps needed to join the Mentoring for Success Program and be matched with a mentee or to sign up as a group mentor.
If you are an SFUSD employee at a school site:
- Contact the Mentor Program Site Coodinator at your school site (link to list of schools)
- Attend an orientation at your school site with the Mentor Program Coordinator
- Be matched with a student or small group at your school site
If you are an SFUSD employee, but do not work at a school site:
- Complete Be A Mentor! form
- Attend a Mentor Orientation (MFS District Staff will schedule this with you)
- Be assigned and oriented to a school site (typically near your office or where you travel in SF)
- Be matched with a student or small group at the school site
If you are a Community Member interested in volunteering at a school site:
- Complete an Online Application through the San Francisco Education Fund
- Attend a Mentor Orientation
- Be assigned and oriented to a school site
- Be matched with a student or small group at the school site
There are a great number of students within the San Francisco Unified School District who can benefit from having an additional caring adult presence in their lives. Mentoring for Success is excited you have decided to take on this challenging but incredibly rewarding volunteer commitment. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming training! All mentor volunteers must go through a background check before they can work directly with a student; SF Education Fund will help you through this process.
“The most effective mentors offer support, challenge, patience, and enthusiasm while they guide others to new levels of achievement.” (“STAGES OF A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP” Baylor University’s Community Mentoring for Adolescent Development)
This page was last updated on April 5, 2023