SunServe Youth Mentor It Better Program
One on One Mentoring and Group Mentoring
Working together with Big Brother’s Big Sister’s of Broward, SunServe has created an innovative mentoring program for LGBTQ youth in foster care. While the unfortunate reality is that LGBTQ youth have the highest rates of mental health issues, suicide attempts, and substance abuse rates, the research also shows that the presence of just 1 stable and positive adult role model in their life can significantly decrease these rates and increase their chances of graduating high school and achieving their long term goals! Would you like to be that adult to change the life of a young person? We currently have immediate openings for adult volunteers who can say yes to the following:
- Must be at least 24 years of age.
- Must sign a confidentiality agreement.
- Must participate in the New Mentor Training.
- Must check the Facebook Mentor Group at least weekly.
- Must attend bi-weekly group sessions with youth for 3 months and 1 monthly event for 3 months.
- Must agree to one-on-one supervision with SunServe staff twice a month for the first 3 months.
- Must agree to be a mentor, or to be available as a mentor, for a period of no less than 1 year
- Once matched, must agree to contact their mentee AT LEAST 4 times per month, with a minimum of 3 monthly face-to-face meetings
In addition, we ask that mentors:
- Be willing to listen to our youth.
- Be willing to chaperone events.
- Be willing to participate in a range of activities from nature hikes to game nights.
- Help transmit the rich culture and history of the LGBT community.
- Utilize their own talents to help mentees foster their own.
- Model good behavior and healthy relationships.
Community members interested in volunteering for the program must fill out an application form, pass a DCF background check, and complete an interview with a SunServe Youth staff member. Once these steps have been completed, volunteers will participate in a 6 hour mentor training program that will introduce them to the needs of our youth. This training focuses on the William Bridges Transition Framework as well as LGBT issues and issues specific to our youth.
The Mentor It Better Program is designed to give adults and youth the opportunity to organically match themselves with someone who shares common interests, goals, and backgrounds. After the initial training, youth and adults will begin meeting in a group session twice a month for 3 months. Each meeting will consist of mingling time, ice breaker games, and an introduction to activities that adults and youth can do together after being matched. Some of these activities will be:
- Creative writing
- Art Therapy
- Improv theater
Additionally, once a month we will hold a more social get together that will be open to anyone who is interested in being a potential mentor or mentee. We ask that adults and youth in the group phase of the program attend all events that take place in their 3 month cycle. After that, attendance is encouraged, but not mandatory.
Following the 3 month cycle, SunServe staff will begin matching adults and youth based on one on one meetings with both youth and adults, and observing the connections made within the group setting. Once a match is made, the relationship will then be supported by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward and the group meetings will end. BBBS requires the following once a match has been made:
- Commit to a minimum of 12 months as a Big (not including the initial 3 month group cycle)
- Commit to spending consistent, significant time with your Little each month
- Follow all agency policies, procedures and ground rules. Because child safety is a top priority, we consider violations of policies, procedures, and ground rules to be grounds for match suspension or termination.
- Maintain regular communication with Match Support staff, including returning all calls and emails. Failure to maintain contact may result in closure of the match.
- Participate in required surveys and assessments related to the match relationship and youth outcomes.
- Complete assigned training.
If you are interested in becoming an adult mentor, please