Matching the cadets with a caring, responsible volunteer mentor is the most critical component of the Discovery ChalleNGe Academy experience. The mentoring relationship begins in the Residential Phase (first 5 1/2 months) and continues for a full year during the Post-Residential Phase of the program. Not only is mentoring important for the development of these young men and women, but for their continued success after the program.
Mentoring has always existed and has always been effective. There is really nothing mystical or magical about being a mentor or why mentoring works so well. Every successful person has had mentors in his or her life. It could be a teacher, a coach, a neighbor, a relative, a co-worker, an AA or NA sponsor, or a minister. What we have achieved in our lives is due, in part to the mentors in our lives.
What is a Mentor?
A volunteer mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. An effective volunteer mentor understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic, and tuned to the needs of the mentee.
If you would like to become a Mentor, you should meet some of the following characteristics:
Able to network and find resources
Willing to devote time to developing others
Basic Mentor Qualifications:
Be at least 25 years old
Must be employed, in school, or retired
A good role model
Commit the entire 17 ½ month program
Willing work with At-risk youth
Must pass a Department of Justice background check
Basic Mentor Disqualifications for Discovery:
You have been convicted of a sexually related crime
Live outside of Northern California
The Cadets at our completely free voluntary program made a decision to go down a different path and to better themselves. Joining the program took guts. Now they need your support and mentorship to continue down that