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Finding a mentor
Here are some suggestions on how to find a mentor for your child.
Consider the reasons you are seeking a mentor for your child. This will help define your search for the right mentoring program and mentor. For example, a college student may be an ideal match for a child who hopes to attend college one day.
Look for someone in your circle of friends, family and community. A single friend who has no children might make a great mentor for your son or daughter. A college student also might enjoy spending time with your child.
Talk with a teacher, counselor or administrator at your child's school. School counselors, teachers, and other staff members who know your child well may be able to suggest someone or provide you with resources.
Look for a mentor in your faith community. Many places of worship have mentoring programs for young people. If there's no formal program, a clergy member might be able to suggest where to find a mentor.
Ask about mentoring programs in your community or on your installation. Many business and community groups offer programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has established character-development programs for young people at clubs at installation Youth Centers and in local communities. You might look into the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which matches children with mentors through hundreds of affiliates.
Visit the website for the National Mentoring Partnership. This national organization has an online directory that lets you search by ZIP code for mentoring programs in your area. It also has information on qualities to look for in a mentor and how a mentor can help your child.
Explore e-mentoring opportunities. E-mentoring - also known as telementoring or teletutoring - is mentoring that takes place online. Students are matched with adult volunteers in different fields and communicate by email about school, jobs and other concerns, typically for about 30 to 45 minutes per week. To learn about e-mentoring, go to the International Telementor Program.
Find out if the Foster Grandparents program exists in your community. Foster Grandparents is a government program that encourages adults over the age of 55 to serve as role models, mentors and friends to children who are disadvantaged or disabled, often through partnerships with schools, community agencies or Head Start programs. Foster grandparents may tutor, read to, provide guidance to or offer other forms of support for children. To learn more, visit the Senior Corps website. Your child's teacher or school counselor may be able to tell you whether foster grand