Frequently asked questions:
Who are the Mentees?
Our mentees are between the ages of 6 and 17 and live in Central MA. Other than all wanting to be in the program, they come from all sorts of backgrounds.
Who are the Mentors?
LUK Mentors are 18 years and older who come from diverse backgrounds. They are people who will be good role models for a young person. Mentors do not need special degrees or job skills.
What kinds of background checks are done?
Background checks include providing references from people who know them well and conducting a criminal offender (CORI), Department of Children & Families neglect/abuse check and sexual offender (SORI) records checks.
When & where can I see my mentee?
Our program is community-based, which means you pick your mentee up from his or her home and plan activities out in the community. You and your mentee can decide on what activities you would like to do, with parent/guardian approval. The times you meet are mutually agreed upon by you, the parent/guardian and mentee, all depending on everyone's schedule.
What types of activities to mentors and mentees do together?
Our matches do a variety of activities together depending on their interests. Typical activities include going to the library, taking a walk in the park, playing a sport, helping with a school project or homework, cooking or baking, hiking, going to a local college sporting event, playing a board game together and just talking. We encourage matches to spend time doing things that cost little to no money.
Can I include my mentee in activities with my family or friends?
It is important for you and your mentee to build a friendship and that may take some time. Spending time one-to-one is the best way to do that. However, once you and your mentee have established a comfortable relationship, it's ok to occasionally include your mentee in family activities and have them meet the people important in your life.
What kind of support do matches receive after the match?
Once you are matched, you are assigned a Mentoring Specialist who will provide guidance throughout the match. During the first two months of the match, the mentor and mentee/guardian are contacted on a weekly basis, and then bi-monthly, to see how things are going. This includes a monthly visit to the mentees home to meet face-to-face. The Mentoring Specialist can help with tips on how to handle situations, activity ideas and give feedback on the match is going.
What if I can't mentor anymore?
Studies show that mentoring has the biggest positive impact when a relationship lasts at least a year. It is best to stay in a match unless there are uncontrollable circumstances such as a job relocation or illness. When this happens you need to contact your Mentoring Specialist and talk about how to end the relationship in the most positive way. If you are unsure if you are able to commit to a one year mentoring relationship, you may want to look at shorter term volunteer opportunities and ask about other ways to contribute to the mentoring program.