Teen Mentorship Program

Building Community For Adopted Teens
Registration is now open for the 2024-2025 Mentorship year! Families are able to join per semester or per year.
Fall semester begins in September, and runs through January, the Spring semester starts in February and runs through June.

Spence-Chapin’s NYC Teen Mentorship Program was founded in 2005 and is open to adopted people of high school age, 14-18 years old at the start of their participation year/semester.

For more information, please contact mentorship@spence-chapin.org.

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 25+, 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.


Jessica M. Luciere

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.

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Meet our Mentors

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.




  • Born in Cambodia
  • 1st year as a mentor
  • I love to play volleyball, take pictures and drink boba!
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  • Born in Bogota, Colombia
  • Mentor for 3 years 
  • I feel like I am part of a community where we are all different and accepted but we all have one thing in common. It’s a wonderful feeling and great sense of belonging. 
  • I love Star Wars! I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and used to coach diving and swimming. 

Teen Mentor

  • Born in China
  • 1st year as a mentor
  • I was a former mentee in the program when I was in high school.
  • Being an active member of the adoptee community has introduced me to many different kinds of perspectives and broadened my horizons
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  • Born in China 
  • Mentor for 3 years, I was a mentee in this program for 2 years when I was younger 
  • I have a strong sense of community within the connections I’ve made with  the mentees & mentors, I always enjoy hearing their perspective as young adoptees.  
  • enjoy singing and writing songs.  
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  • Born in New York
  • Mentor for over 10 years
  • I’ve met a community of people with whom I can share my thoughts, fears and emotions regarding adoption and I’m hoping my vulnerability helps the kids feel more comfortable sharing their feelings as well.
  • I love to travel!
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  • Born in New York 
  • Mentor for 6 years
  • Having a supportive community like mentorship is invaluable. I feel understood in this kind environment of like-minded people. 
  • I love fashion: mixing and matching all kinds of clothes and accessories. 
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  • Born in Moscow, Russia, I am Tajik and Ukrainian.
  • 1st year as a mentor.
  • Excited to meet and support other adoptees through community and openness!
  • Love hiking, traveling, and the arts!
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Teen Mentor

  • Born in Armenia, Colombia 
  • Mentor for 7 years 
  • Since being involved with the mentorship program, I realized how much I want to work with kids, families, and be more involved in the adoption world. I went back to school and got my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.  
  • I have traveled all over the world and have been to 19 countries!

Teen Mentor

  • I was born in China, grew up in New York City
  • This is my first year as a mentor, but was a mentee throughout my teens
  • My hobbies are music, writing, vintage shopping, hiking, and most recently, ceramics
  • In joining Mentorship, I’m excited to connect with a community of adoptees again, reunite with my mentors, and hopefully forge similar bonds as the ones I valued so deeply when I was a mentee.
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Jessica, Facilitator

  • Born in Bogota, Colombia; grew up on Long Island
  • Has been a Mentor since our program was founded
  • Has worked as a photojournalist and traveled the world covering amazing stories. Also worked in commercial real estate in NYC for several years.
  • “I love being a mentor to young adoptees because when I was younger, I wished I had someone to give perspective on things only adoptees can understand.”

Parent Groups

Understanding the importance of community, adoptive parents are invited to participate in a separate monthly group. Topics include talking about adoptionadvocating for your child and navigating birth family searchParents whose children participate in the mentorship program are automatically enrolled. If your child is between the ages of 11 and 18 but is not participating in the program, you are welcome to join us. 

Contact us

To learn more email mentorship@spence-chapin.org or call 212-360-0276.