What Is Community for Youth?
Community for Youth is a one-of-a-kind program based out of Seattle, Washington, that connects high school youth aged 14-19 years old with an adult mentor and a powerful community of peers and adults. We use the partnership of community and mentorship to provide students with a network of support that can connect them with the resources, self awareness, knowledge, and skills they need to define their own success and achieve their own goals. After joining Community for Youth, students and mentors are assigned to a Learning Community that meets weekly in different group sizes: 1:1 student-mentor meetings, small group activities, and whole community workshops. This model offers a dynamic and comprehensive mentoring experience for both youth and mentors.
What is the Time Commitment?
Students commit to a Tuesday OR Thursday evening from 6-8:30pm three times per month. Mentors commit to a fourth meeting each month, which is a mentor-only workshop meant to provide resources, trainings, peer support, and essential information related to youth-mentoring. Community for Youth follows the Seattle Public Schools calendar and will not have programming during SPS breaks. CfY has two fall learning communities that begin in October and run through the duration of the school year (mid-June), and one mid-year learning community that starts in February and goes through the end of June.
Does it Cost Money to Join Community for Youth?
CfY programming is free! Transportation to and from CfY activities is coordinated by the student’s mentor. Dinner is served at all CfY workshops. For 1:1 and Family Group activities that cost money, it is up to the student-mentor match to decide together how to split the cost.
Who Are Our Mentors?
CfY mentors are volunteers who find out about CfY in all different ways (word of mouth, information sessions, volunteer postings, community flyers). They range from 21—70 years old, come from all different backgrounds, and work in various career fields. Mentors go through an interview and extensive background check before they are accepted into the program. They then attend 4 comprehensive training sessions before being matched with a mentee.
Who Are Our Students?
Students are recruited from 4 high schools in the South Seattle area: Rainier Beach High School, Franklin High School, Chief Sealth High School, and Cleveland High School. Students learn about CfY through recruitment efforts by CfY staff members (in-class presentations, tabling during the lunch hour at school, staff referrals) and self-select into the program. Students must complete a Student Application that outlines the commitment and must be signed by their parent or guardian.
Where do CfY Activites Take Place?
Community for Youth has various different activities that happen throughout the month. Our Student-Mentor Workshops and Mentor-Only Workshops take place at The Goodwill Training and Education Center near the International District. 1:1 and Family Group activities are choice-based activities and the location will depend on what students and mentors decide to do on those evenings.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Student in CfY?
The benefits of mentoring include and are not limited to: lower tendency to use drugs or alcohol, higher school attendance and graduation rates, more willingness to take on leadership roles, higher self-confidence, lower rates of depression, greater likelihood of enrolling in higher education, stronger interpersonal and communication skills, and a connection to resources and support that might otherwise be unavailable (MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 2017).
Community for Youth combines the powerful impact of a 1:1 mentoring relationship with a large network of community support. Our unique model offers students the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive within a community that truly believes in them.