Who are our mentors?
Mentors are volunteers age 21+ who were born internationally or domestically. Some mentors have been with the program for several years, some are new this year! We currently have two former mentees who have joined us as mentors for the past several years.
All mentors are screened and trained by Spence-Chapin staff before the start of the program. Our mentors come from varied backgrounds: those new to mentoring, those who have been mentors for decades, those who are actively involved in several adoptee communities and those who have never met another adoptee. No matter their level of experience, we welcome all adoptees who are interested in mentoring to reach out!
Who are our mentees?
Our mentees are teen and tween adoptees who were born internationally or domestically. Like our mentors, they enter the program with varied amounts of experience spending time other adoptees and talking about their stories. Some, who are new to the community, may be more reserved at first, and for others who have joined us for years, they could practically lead the group themselves.
What does it mean to be a mentor in this program?
Our mentors commit to monthly events for a full year of our program running September through June. Regular mentor-only social events are optional but strongly encouraged. There are both virtual and in-person opportunities (for those local to NYC) and mentors can choose to be a part of one or both programs. Mentors join us to be a part of a community of adoptees, meet new people, do fun activities and have in-depth discussions about what it means to be adopted. They understand that each adoptee’s story is unique and come ready with open minds to listen, learn and support not only our mentees but each other. This is not a clinical group and mentors are not asked to perform clinical duties. This program has taught all mentors past and present, that as much as we hope the teens learn from us, we are constantly learning from them.
Why should I become a mentor?
If you are looking to meet other adoptees, make a difference in the lives of youth and share your experience as an adopted person, then being a mentor may be right for you!
How do I become a mentor?
All potential mentors are required to fill out a mentor application with their resume and two letters of recommendation. Once received, our program facilitator will reach out to schedule an interview to determine if this program is a good fit for them. New mentors are required to go through a set of clearances facilitated by Spence-Chapin staff and complete consent and agreement forms for their year-long commitment. All mentors attend a mandatory orientation and training prior to the start of the program.