Who are the “Mentees”?
Adoptees between the ages of 13 and 18 who were born domestically or internationally.
Who are the “Mentors”?
Our diverse group of mentors are volunteers who are also are adoptees! Mentors are over the age of 21 and have been screened and trained by our licensed social work staff. They sign on to be a part of the program for the entirety of the mentoring program year (September through June). With their varied experiences and backgrounds, our mentors bring their own unique perspective to our program. Some of our mentors have been with us for over a decade, and some are just joining us for the first time this year. We even have mentors who were once mentees in this program when they were younger!
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 with our program. Adoptees have experiences in life that only other adoptees can understand, and our program provides a place where they can share, be heard and join a group of others who can relate to them. Our nationwide program allows participants to hear from adoptees all around the country and find comfort in knowing that the adoptee experience is universal.
Is there a group for the parents of mentees?
Yes! Parents are invited to meet monthly to discuss topics that are important to them. Occasionally the themes correspond with the topic for that month’s teen group and include talking about adoption, navigating search, reunion, and advocating for your child. Parents who register their teen for the mentoring program are automatically enrolled in the parent group. Parents whose teens are not registered in the mentoring program are also welcomed to sign up for the parent sessions. For registration options, please visit.
Are mentors assigned to a child one-to-one? Do they meet individually?
Our mentoring program is a group program with no one-on-one matching. The group format encourages everyone to interact with new people at each event. Through different and unique activities each month, participants naturally make intentional and authentic bonds and with one another.
What if my child doesn’t want to participate?
It is totally understandable that your child may be hesitant to join this program initially. Many of our 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. Sometimes after hearing other adoptees open up about their stories and experiences, our most hesitant teens start to hear themselves reflected and are encouraged to participate.
How often does the Teen Mentoring Program meet?
Once a month, mentors and mentees meet on a weeknight for an hour and a half on Zoom. This is a yearlong program running September through June; however, families can choose to enroll per semester (September-January or February-June).
What types of activities do participants engage in?
Identity exercises with Urban Word, adoption-focused documentaries and short films like Nam Holtz’s Found in Korea, guest speakers, cooking classes, games and art-based activities. No matter the month’s topic, we provide an inclusive space without expectations to discuss adoption, identity, birth families, search, reunion, relationships, and more.