Spence-Chapin’s Mentorship Programs are adoptee-led and run groups for teen and tween adoptees that meet monthly with adult adoptee Mentors. Through fun group activities, discussions, and day trips to locations throughout New York City, Mentorship is a place where adoptees can talk about the things that are important to them while making friendships that last a lifetime!
For 16 years, Spence-Chapin’s Teen Mentoring Program has created a community for young adoptees in New York City and the tri-state area. And now our program is going nationwide virtually!
We are excited to announce the launch of our national group mentoring program connecting young adoptees ages 13-18 with adoptees 21+ in fun virtual activities and adoptee centered discussions. Our “mentees” meet with peers and older adoptees, their “mentors,” as a group to have conversations about the topics that are important to them: biological family, identity, and belonging. For many, it is their first experience being in a space with only adoptees! Our mentors, some of whom have been in the program for more than 5 years, understand the importance of their role and truly value their time with the teens. Often, the mentors learn just as much from the teens, as the teens do from them! Adoptees gain a place to see themselves reflected and a community where they can openly share their experiences and ask questions.
Founded in 2005, the adoptee-led NYC Teen Mentorship Program welcomes adoptees 13-18 years old to join in monthly events throughout New York City from September to June. This program functions as a group mentoring program connecting young adoptees with adult adoptee mentors 21+, creating spaces for fun activities and thoughtful conversations, all while creating new friendships and community. Discussion-based days center around the adoptee experience, identity formation, how to talk about difficult topics and how adoptees navigate new spaces as we get older. Registration is offered to families per semester, or per year.
Junior Mentorship welcomes adoptees ages 10-12 years old to join in monthly events throughout New York City from September to June. This adoptee-led program was created specifically to give our pre-teens a space to make new friends, meet older adoptees and talk about the topics that are important to them. Our mentees have adult adoptee mentors age 21+, who lead the group in conversation, creative activities, games, and team-building events. Designed as a precursor to our Teen Mentoring Programs, Junior Mentorship often gives mentees their first opportunity to have mentors and make friends who share this deep connection of being adopted.
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 all Adoptees themselves!
They volunteer as Mentors because they understand the importance of having Adoptee-centered spaces and creating positive role models for young Adoptees.
Every year, we welcome new faces into our group, and this year is no different! Some Mentors return year after year because this program has made such an impact on them.
Our Mentors are passionate about the work they do in creating open spaces for our adoptive community to connect and learn from one another.
GET TO KNOW OUR MENTORS!
Check out our podcast Adoption Talk by Spence-Chapin, where we love featuring our mentors and talking about the mentorship program!
Hear from Mentors, Mentees, and Parents about their experiences in the program.