Junior Mentorship begins this Fall 2022, hosting monthly events for adoptees ages 10-12 years old!
Facilitated by Spence-Chapin staff and adult adoptee mentors, the Junior Mentorship program provides an open and creative space for kids to make friends and participate in exciting activities throughout New York City!
Mentorship is a space for young adoptees to talk about the topics that are important to them with others who really get it, while having fun and making lasting memories as they begin their mentorship journey at Spence-Chapin.
This group welcomes all adoptees, internationally and domestically born, whether placed through Spence-Chapin or not.
Our son participated in the Spence Chapin Mentorship Program during Middle and High Schools. We have made friends with other families in the adoption community that have lasted through the years. Having a community to turn to in difficult times, whether adoption related or not, is immeasurable. Having mentors and mentees for our son to share his adoption journey with has been nothing but positive.
~Irene and John, Former Mentorship Parents
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Mentorship Program and have many great memories from my time with Spence. I’m also still in contact with some of the friends I made during my time in the Mentorship Program. Spence has been very important to me and my family and I even supported it by collecting items for my Eagle Scout project to distribute to children waiting for their forever family.
~John, Former Mentee
This mentorship provided a safe space for me to explore my identity and be myself with full support and no explanation. There I formed strong relationships with people of all different ages and backgrounds, who were all bonded by the one thing that had previously always isolated me. This in turn fostered a confidence in me to not only recognize but take pride in the unique experience of being a transracial adoptee.
~Dana, Mentor for 9 years
Jessica is a transracial adoptee born in Bogota, Colombia who grew up in Long Island, New York. She is an Adoptee Advocate, working to create supportive spaces for adoptees and their families. Jessica was one of the founding mentors in the NYC Teen Mentorship program which began in 2006, and now is the Manager of Community Engagements at Spence-Chapin, overseeing all community programming. Jessica’s passion for connecting with adoptees and their families has always been the driving force in her work and is the reason she continues to create spaces for adoptee stories and voices.
Rebecca is a transracial adoptee born in Paraguay and raised in New Jersey. She is a social worker who has been volunteering with Spence-Chapin for over 3 years as a Mentor in the NYC Teen Mentorship program. Rebecca is excited to return to Mentorship as the Facilitator of the Junior Mentorship Program this fall! She has a passion for working with adoptees and their families and in her spare time, she paints, writes, and likes to spend time with other adoptees in her community.
Our Mentors are Adoptees! They volunteer their time because most did not have a program like this when they were younger. Being a part of this group and hearing from their fellow Mentors and the mentees helps to sculpt their own identities as Adoptees. Mentors are passionate about the work they do in creating these open spaces for our adoptive community to connect and learn from one another.
We asked a few questions so you can get to know them!
We asked our mentors:
Hear from Mentors, Mentees, and Parents about their experiences in the program.
Understanding the importance of community, adoptive parents are invited to participate in a separate monthly group. Topics include talking about adoption, advocating for your child and navigating birth family search. Parents whose children participate in the mentorship program are automatically enrolled. If your child is between the ages of 10 and 12 but is not participating in the program, you are welcome to join us.