Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.

GRIP Mentoring

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 Great Relationships in Pairs (GRIP)

Elementary and middle school students are referred to GRIP by a teacher or counselor, a family member or themselves for a variety of reasons which may include academic difficulty, social challenges or issues affecting life at home. Our outcome data shows that, like all young people, our mentees benefit significantly from having a fun and special one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.

The mentoring relationship is a mutual commitment to a long-term friendship that develops through weekly 30-50 minute meetings. For elementary students, sessions take place at school and might involve lunch, board games, work on a craft project, sports or time just for chatting. Middle school students and their mentors meet at a time and place of their own choosing to enjoy an activity of their choice.

The program also sponsors additional learning opportunities for mentors and group activities for mentors and mentees, such as game nights, free tickets to athletic events and annual mentoring recognition banquets.

 What is a Mentor?

A mentor is a person who has a genuine interest in making a positive difference in a student's life. A mentor is:

  • A positive role model 
  • Understanding
  • Encouraging
  • A good listener
  • Patient
  • Dependable
  • Caring
  • Someone who will help the mentee develop to his or her full potential
  • A trustworthy friend

 Why Become a Mentor?

Mentoring truly matters to the young people who benefit from the time and attention of caring adult mentors. Here's what they say:

  • "My mentor is super nice and super supportive."
  • "Together we put a 500 piece puzzle together. I could not have done that by myself."
  • "My mentor has taught me how to become a better friend."
  • "My mentor helped me want to come to school."
  • "I love my mentor, and everyone in my class wants one too."
  • "My mentor is awesome."
  • "My mentor is my best friend."
  • "It is so nice being with someone who understands you."
  • "My mentor is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

How to Become a Mentor

  1. Fill out an application, available online or you can get a hard copy from the Mentoring Coordinator at YSS (see below) *YSS conducts 2 types of background checks for all volunteer applicants.
  2. Together, you will set up a date for the interview.
  3. Attend an orientation session conducted by the mentoring facilitator, at which time you will receive a Mentoring Handbook.

Mentors receive ongoing support via in-services and newsletters, as well as periodic contact with the mentoring facilitator.

For more information, or a hard copy application form, contact the Mentoring Programs Coordinator at 515-232-4332, ext. 4452 or Contact Us


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