Learn more about the mentors in our NYC Mentorship Program by reading our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are adoptees ages 21+ who volunteer their time once a month to be a support and positive role models for younger adoptees.
The program welcomes adoptees born internationally and domestically. Mentors do not have to be Spence-Chapin adoptees themselves to participate.
Mentors are folks who are interested in learning more about themselves while supporting younger adoptees by sharing their stories while also acting as positive role models.
There is no expectation for mentors to have experience in working with other adoptees before. For some, it is their first time participating in a space just for adoptees.
Mentors are expected to actively engage the mentees in discussion and fun while creating a safe and open space to share!
Some mentors currently enrolled in the program have been with Mentorship for several years, and some are new this year!
Some of our former mentors were once mentees in the program when they were younger!
Who are the mentees?
Mentees from the Junior Mentorship Program are adoptees 10-12 years old.
Mentees from the Teen Mentorship Program are adoptees 13-18 years old.
Like our mentors, mentees enter the program with varied amounts of experience spending time with other adoptees and talking about their stories. Some who are new to the community may be more reserved at first, and others who have joined us for years could practically lead the group themselves.
Mentors help everyone feel comfortable in the group while remaining open minded and judgement free.
Do mentors commit to participating in each event?
Yes. Mentors are required to commit to the full year of Mentorship from August through June, so they are expected to participate at each event. Mentors are asked to come to each event both onsite and off, about a half hour earlier and stay a half hour later after the event to brief and debrief.
What does it mean to be a mentor in this program?
Mentors join us to be a part of a community of adoptees, meet new people, connect with younger adoptees while participating in fun activities and having 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.
Mentors are positive role models for young adoptees and understand that everyone’s experience is different.
Mentors are often asked to engage with the parents of mentees both in person at drop off and pick up at events, and during virtual and in-person Parent Group discussions to share insight and expertise in their experiences.
This is not a clinical group, and mentors are not asked to perform clinical duties.
Why should I become a mentor?
Because you want to make a difference.
Mentors have a unique and special opportunity to bond with one another and with younger adoptees while offering support and perspective on the adoptee experience, while making a life lasting impact on one another, and the mentees.
Mentors make a difference, mentors make a change in the lives of the kids who join Mentorship. Mentees help to give mentors insight into their own experience, and help them grow and understand the younger adoptee experience.
Mentorship is a fulfilling experience all around!
How do I become a mentor?
Those interested are required to fill out this mentor application. You will be asked to submit a resume with two letters of recommendation.
Once received, our program facilitator will contact you to schedule an interview to determine if this program is a good fit.
Is there a clearance or training procedure to become a mentor?
Yes. 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 that takes place in August of each year.
We look forward to hearing from you! If you have any further questions about the program, please reach out via email to [email protected] or call 212-360-0276.