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Guidelines for Mentors

The primary goal of the mentoring experience is to provide support to vulnerable mentees through the development of a meaningful relationship with an older adult. Over time, your relationship will grow and trust will develop. The following are some basic guidelines to follow.

Be Reliable
Always try to visit your mentee when you say you will or call to cancel if there's a problem. Try not to break a date with your mentee. Trust is crucial in your relationship. Nothing undermines trust faster than broken appointments.

Be Consistent
Short, regular contacts (at least once a week) can often accomplish more than long, irregular ones.

Focus on your Mentee
Your primary relationship is with the mentee. Avoid including the mentee's family membrs except on rare occasions (such as bringing siblings along to ROY Events)

Respect the Family
As much as your mentee's family may appreciate and need your help, there may be points of disagreement between you and the mentee's parent(s) regarding what is best for the mentee. It is important to respect the parent(s)' wishes; your role is not to replace them. You are not a mediator between the mentee and their parent(s). Give periodic reports to your mentee's parent(s) about his/her progress. In addition, it is essential not to share with outsiders personal information about your mentee and their family.

Ask Questions
Everyone involved in the project is part of a team. We can help each other and our mentee by asking questions. Don't be afraid to ask anything! There are no stupid questions.

Praise your Mentee
Take every opportunity to give positive feedback to your mentee.

Be Safety-Minded
Be aware of your surroundings and dangers that may exist in your mentee's environment.

Spend Wisely
Choose activities that will not overextend your financial resources. If you start to spend money too freely, your mentee may develop unrealistic expectations. It's the policy of the Reach Our Youth Program to focus on time spent together, not money spent.

Set Limits
Establish norms of proper conduct without being harsh. Feel free to reject unreasonable demands by your mentee. Discuss with him/her the basis of your difference. 

Include your Mentee in Developing Plans
Ask your mentee to share in making decisions about your joint activities. Encourage creativity from your mentee.

Fill Out Program Forms in a Timely Manner
Monthly forms are due on the first of the month. If you would like forms mailed to you, let Sarah know at

Call the Office for Advice if a Difficult Situation Arises
You are not on your own in this! Call the office at 419-663-2525 ext. 1 with any questions or concerns.