The term, “mentoring”, refers to a supportive relationship between a mentor and a mentee. This is characterized by constructive role-modeling, encouragement, and positive reinforcement. Peer mentoring programs for adolescents with special needs have been shown to benefit social-cognitive growth from their interaction with their mentors as well as establishing positive peer relationships.
The mentors and mentees usually meet once a month for 2-3 hours per social outing. The outings will vary depending on individual needs. The previous outings ranged from bowling, going for pizza, shopping and coffee.
For the mentor teens and young adults, it provides the following benefits:
- An opportunity to work together toward community service and offers development of both leadership skills and teamwork.
- To learn the value of helping others, at the same time reinforcing their life skills.
- Develops increased understanding and interest in volunteering for community projects and allows students to develop empathy towards peers who have special needs and learning difficulties.
- An opportunity to discuss topics that help foster increased awareness of the ways differences influence our perceptions of self and others.
Characteristics of ASK Mentors:
- Honest and respectful.
- Patient with mentees.
- Flexible to mentee needs.
- Prompt, dependable and regular in attendance.
- Discreet, sincere and dedicated.
- Respectful of mentee and mindful of confidentiality.
- Mentors must fill out the ASK online volunteer form as well as the ASK Mentoring Program Volunteer application form that will be forwarded to them by e-mail.
- An interview of the volunteer will be conducted by the program coordinator.
- Mentors will be expected to provide parental consent.
- Mentors will be expected to provide three references, only one of whom may be a parent.
- Mentors will be provided with orientation documents (which they are required to read) and will attend an orientation meeting.
The mentee will receive a variety of benefits including:
- Individual attention, 2 mentors to 1 mentee.
- Greater self-confidence.
- Strengthen communication skills.
- Practice social skills.
- Parents will fill out the mentee application form.
- A meeting will be arranged between parents, mentee and program coordinator.
- Parents must provide signed consent for their child’s participation in the program.
- The program coordinator will review applications from volunteers and mentees and will make
- A meeting will be arranged between volunteers, parents of the mentee and the program coordinator.
- If the match is approved by the mentees parents, a first meeting between the mentors and the mentee
will be arranged.
A complete guidelines and code of conduct will be presented to both volunteer mentors and mentees and their parents.