how to become a youth mentor

How To Become A Youth Mentor

How To Become A Youth Mentor

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest, we are always looking for people who want to make a positive impact on a child’s life. Mentors have a profound impact on the youth they mentor. Children having a mentor helps them experience new things, and achieve success as they grow up. It also helps them develop emotionally and avoid negative behaviors.

However, mentors often find that the experience is just as fulfilling for themselves. Being able to help the youth of our community through the trials and tribulations of growing up does more than making mentors feel accomplished. It also gives the mentors many moments of self-reflection.

If you’re ready to help empower youth and ignite their potential, we would love for you to become a youth mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest.

Think About Your Decision

Becoming a youth mentor can be a life-changing decision. Yet,  being a youth mentor can be a large time commitment. With our community mentorship match programs, you’ll meet with your Little Brother or Little Sister 2-4 times a month for 2-4 hours at a time. That means you’ll spend as little as four hours a month with the child you’re mentoring — or as much as 16 hours in a month.

The Little could be a kid who could be as young as 6 years old and as old as 12 years old. Being a kid is rough. These kids are going through many of the typical problems elementary school and early middle school students face. They’re dealing with fitting in, studying, bullying, and learning who they are. As a result, the kid you mentor may not always be easy to mentor.

Due to the time commitment and emotional work of being a mentor, it’s important to really think about your decision to become a mentor. Mentorships last for 18 months at least. Some last for several years. Think about why you want to be a youth mentor and how much time you can dedicate to this.

Apply by Email or Phone

Apply to be a mentor by contacting Ken Shelton, Enrollment & Matching Specialist at [email protected] or (509) 328-8312 ext.101. Ken Shelton will ask you to visit us for an interview where he’ll learn more about you, your activities, why you want to be a mentor, and what age level kid you would like to be matched with.

After processing your interview and application, Ken will contact you to set up a home visit. This is just to make sure that you live in a kid-friendly environment. We need to check that there’s nothing inappropriate for children to see in your home or unsafe conditions.

Background Check

Since the safety of the kids we mentor is our top priority, we conduct a background check of all mentor applicants. We need to make sure that our mentors don’t have a history of crime, drug use, or inappropriate behavior.

Mentor Training

In addition to all of the above, we also host an in-person or remote-learning mentor training program. This helps you learn about our program’s rules and expectations, common mentorship strategies, what you might expect from the program, and who to go to when you need help.


Once you’ve been approved as a mentor, it’s time to find you a match. Our Enrollment & Matching Specialist, the same person who interviewed you to be a mentor, also interviews the children and families who are looking for a mentor. He meets with them to learn about the kids who need a mentor and what their parents are looking for in a mentor.

When our Enrollment & Matching Specialist finds a potential Big and Little match, he reaches out to the family to tell them about the mentor. If they approve of the mentor, he sets up a meeting between the mentor and the parents.

Becoming A Mentor

If the meeting is successful, it’s time to start mentorship. Your beginning visits with the Little will be about getting to know each other. As time goes on, you’ll get to do fun activities that align with both of your interests. And don’t worry, Big Brothers Big Sister’ expert staff are accessible every step of the way to help you troubleshoot, come up with ideas for activities, and provide resources to make sure your match relationship is successful!

Become a Mentor With Big Brothers Big Sisters

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest, we are always looking for responsible, friendly mentors for our community’s young people. As a Big Brother or Big Sister, you have the opportunity to make a BIG difference in a child’s life. If you’re interested in improving the lives of kids in our community, please reach out to us today at  (509) 328-8310 or email [email protected].

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest is a 501C3 organization. Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

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