Mentorship Program FAQs

Teen Mentorship

Learn more about Spence-Chapin’s Mentorship program by reading our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who are the “Mentees? 

Junior Mentorship mentees are adoptees 10-12 years old.
Teen Mentorship mentees are adoptees 13-18 years old.
The programs welcome adoptees born internationally and domestically who live in the NYC general area.

  • Those who joined their families at a young age and those who may have joined later, kids who joined their families through foster care or who are in a kinship adoption also join us.
  • Kids who may or may not share a cultural or racial identity as their parents.

Through the program, mentees form lasting connections with their peers and their mentors in spaces that allow for them to share their experiences, and topics that matter to them.
Mentorship provides a safe, confidential, and communal space to create new friendships, explore identity through creativity and conversation, and enjoy exciting events and activities throughout NYC.

Who are the 

Mentors are adoptees who are 21 years old, and older, who volunteer their time each month to provide support and act as positive role models for mentees. Mentors bring a lot of fun, as well as their own personal experiences and knowledge to the group. Some mentors were once mentees in these programs themselves!

Mentors participate to create meaningful and impactful spaces for young adoptees, that inspire interesting conversations and fun. Mentors sign on for a full year of participation in either program, and are cleared, processed and trained through Spence-Chapin.

Each group has their own facilitator, Jessica M. Luciere, is the Manager of Community Engagement at Spence-Chapin and oversees both the Teen and Jr. Program. Jessica is also the facilitator of the Teen Mentorship program, along with the Community Engagement intern, is present at all Teen events throughout the year.

Rebecca Fiore facilitates the Jr. Mentorship program along with the Community Engagement intern, and is present at all Jr. Mentorship events throughout the year.

Both Jessica & Rebecca are transracial, transnational adopted people who have participated in Mentorship for many years!


Why would my child be interested in a mentoring program? 

Teens don’t always have their own adoptee community and for many, they don’t realize they were looking for it until they’ve found it within the Mentorship programs.

Adoptees have experiences in life that only other adoptees can understand, and the Mentorship programs provide a place where they can share, be heard, and join a group of others who can relate to them, while having fun and making new friends and lasting memories.

Participants learn about themselves, and their peers, through monthly activities. They also learn about leadership through their interactions with Mentors and have opportunities to volunteer in other Community Programming events held at Spence-Chapin.


How often does the Mentorship Program meet?

Junior and Teen Mentorship are two separate programs that meet independently once a month from September through June on a Saturday from about 12-3pm.


Are kids assigned to a Mentor one-to-one? Do they meet individually? 

No, both programs meet as group mentoring experiences. There is no one to one matching.

We believe the group format encourages everyone to interact with new people at each event. Through the various activities each month, participants naturally make intentional and authentic bonds with one another, while having a lot of fun!


Is there a fee to join?

Yes. The cost per semester is $600, or $1200 for the full year. The fall semester runs from September through January, and the spring semester runs from February through June.

Registration is available through the Spence-Chapin website.

What does the fee cover

The fee includes lunch catered from various locations in New York City at each event, and all entrance and participatory fees for offsite locations as well as materials needed for onsite locations. 1 free coaching or counseling session for parents with a member of the Spence-Chapin clinical staff.


What if my child has a food allergy or preference? 

We will ask you for this information in the application process and be sure to cover it with you once you have registered. We make sure all our Mentors and supporting staff are aware of food allergies and preferences.

In ordering food each month for Mentorship, we are always mindful of food allergies and food preferences like vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, etc. and communicate accordingly with any vendor we are working with.


What are some places Mentorship visits in New York City? 

Our group has gone rock climbing, sword fighting, ice skating, bowling, played laser tag, done cooking and painting classes, had scavenger hunts throughout the city, and gone to Escape the Rooms. We’ve gone to Broadway shows, the Bronx Zoo, Coney Island, and all the museums you can think of!


What are some topics that are discussed on “Adoption Day” or “Identity Day”? 

Discussion topic may include. adoptee identity formation, if we share our story with others, how we may share our stories, questions about birth family, or culture, transitions into higher education and professional settings, just to name a few.


Is there programming for parents?

Yes! We believe strongly that parents need community just as much as the kids do.

Throughout the Mentorship year, parents are invited to join in groups just for them to discuss topics that are important to them with the support of Spence-Chapin staff, and mentors. Meetings take place simultaneously as the Mentorship events, separately with a member of the Spence-Chapin clinical staff.

Parents are also encouraged to meet with one another at drop-off for events, while kids and Mentors participate in the event. This is a great opportunity to meet with some of the other parents and enjoy the afternoon together before you return to pick up your kid later that day.


What if my child is hesitant to participate? 

It is totally understandable that your child may be hesitant to join this program. Many teens who are unsure about joining the program end up really enjoying it after the first event!

We want everyone to feel comfortable when we are together, and there is never any pressure to share. Often, after hearing other adoptees share their stories and experiences, our most hesitant teens start to hear their stories reflected and feel encouraged to participate and share.

Ultimately, it’s most important that your child wants to join Mentorship. Before enrolling, your family and your child will have a chance to meet with the program facilitators and get a good understanding of what to expect when they join.


Can my child join at any time?

There are closing dates for registration each year, generally about a week before the first program starts. It is important to create continuity within the group, so we close registration after the first event, and it will open again about 2 months before the Spring semester for families who plan to join in February.

Registration dates for 2023-2024:

Full year: Registration closes on September 5th, 2023

Fall semester: Registration closes on September 5th, 2023

Spring semester: Registration opens on December 1st, 2023 & closes on January 26th, 2023.


How do I get started? 

First, we ask families to fill out an Inquiry Form. Once this is submitted, a member of our team will reach out to you for an initial call to answer any questions you may have.

After this call, you will receive a longer application form that has specific questions about joining Mentorship. There is a section for your child to fill out also, so they can tell us about themselves!

A Zoom call will be scheduled so that the program facilitator can meet you and your child to introduce you to the program and answer any questions you may have.

A link to register will be sent to you, and once registration is received, parents are sent onboarding documents to sign and send back before the start of the semester/year.


We hope you join us! If you have any further questions about the program please reach out via email to or call 212-360-0276.

To find out more contact us at

212-400-8150 or email us at