Seedling Mentor Program

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Thinking About Mentoring? 

To ensure that new relationships have time to bond before summer break, we conclude matching around March 1st of each spring. We welcome your application now to mentor in the 2016-2017 school year. We will keep in contact with you throughout the summer and invite you to New Mentor Orientation for dates beginning in early September. Thank you for your interest and support! 

Our Vision

All children have the support they need to achieve and prosper despite life challenges and circumstances.

Our Mission 

The Seedling Foundation supports children challenged by parental incarceration with innovative, research driven, school-based mentoring. 


SF JamalWhy Mentoring?

Seedling Foundation launched Seedling Mentoring Program in February 2006 at the request of a group of school principals who were concerned about the growing numbers of children affected by the incarceration of one or both of their parents. These children are often living in unstable situations and are at a greater risk for academic and emotional problems, succumbing to risky behaviors and, potentially, encounters with the criminal justice system themselves.

Mentoring can provide the caring, consistent presence of an adult friend that research has shown to be a major protective factor in building resilience among at-risk youth. Mentors have been the reason that a child decides to go to school instead of getting into trouble.  They’ve been the reason children have taken an interest in music, art, or sports. Most importantly, they provide compassion and companionship to children who are often in high-risk situations.

 

Our Approach 

Kids Waiting for Seedling Mentors

Our volunteer mentors provide stable, long-term relationships for the students and help them develop and maintain positive attitudes towards school. Much of our success can be attributed to the depth and longevity of the mentoring relationship. The retention rate for Seedling mentors average 75%, far exceeding the national average. 

Support For Mentors

Mentors and mentees in designated schools are matched through a multi-step process that includes a Mentor Profile, criminal background check, and reference checks. Mentors complete a 2.5 hour orientation which provides solid practical information about the mentoring process and the importance of their role prior to their introduction to a child. 

Once this orientation is complete and their work with their student begins, we continue educating mentors and providing support based on research findings and best practices. 


SF-AlyssaOur promise is to support you as a mentor. In addition to our initial orientation, we provide ongoing training and support:

~ Help in selecting a school and personalized mentor matching with students.

~ Support meetings to discuss experiences with other mentors.

~ Monthly newsletters (Mentor Minutes and Future Matters) with discussion tips, activities, and school holiday notifications.

~ Informal lunchtime opportunities to learn from experts about topics such as the impact of poverty, the transition to middle school, and setting goals for the future.

 

Experienced professional staff members support mentors in their work. Mentors and staff discuss help if the mentee requires services beyond the scope of the mentor relationship, how best to communicate with the child, support in maintaining healthy boundaries, or just sharing great stories. 

We support our mentors and their students throughout their time in the mentor program and beyond. Many of our Seedling Mentor Program students have received college scholarships from our Foundation, and all mentors and students are welcome to stay connected to the Seedling Foundation family. 

 

Hear Our Stories

Click KUT Spotlight below to listen to three great mentors discuss their work.

KUT Spotlight on Seedling

Click "Become a Mentor" below for more information and to join the Seedling Mentor Program Team. 

Become A Mentor Information Button 

 

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