We Believe

AALEAD truly believes in the positive effect of connecting a caring, committed adult with our young people. We connect youth with adults to form relationships that provide youth with a safe avenue to express their feelings and frustrations, improve their self-esteem, foster positive self-identity, give youth opportunities to explore new interests and develop hobbies, and motivate them to pursue higher education.

AALEAD Youth Mentoring

THE AALEAD YOUTH MENTORING PROGRAM IS LIVE! If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, please complete an application. Youth Applications can be found at and Mentor Applications can be found at

If you have questions, please contact the Mentor Program Manager, Hannah Cheyney, at

The AALEAD Youth Mentoring Program gives Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth aged 8-18 the opportunity to be matched in a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a caring adult from the community in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.  AALEAD’s volunteer mentors serve as important supportive adult figures to youth mentees, helping youth develop confidence, achieve goals, and navigate linguistic, cultural, and institutional barriers. AALEAD also provides opportunities for youth mentees to participate in culturally relevant programming and attend fun field trips and events.

AALEAD Mentors work with youth to grow in AALEAD’s outcome areas of Educational Empowerment, Identity Development, and Leadership for a period of at least one year. Our staff take the time to get to know each mentor and mentee to make the best match possible and provide support to our mentoring pairs over the course of their relationship by offering training for mentors and group outing opportunities.

What Mentors Do

  • Model positive behavior
  • Partner with mentees in developing life skills
  • Empower and enable mentees in developing and making progress towards goals within the framework of AALEAD’s outcome areas
  • Provide personal, academic, and career insights
  • Enhance their mentee’s belief in their own potential

Mentor Commitment Requirements

  • Be available for one-on-one mentorship for a full year.
  • Be in touch with mentees for 6+ hours a month (this includes in person meetings, phone calls, video chat, etc.).
  • Connect with AALEAD staff on a regular basis 
  • Contact AALEAD staff if the mentee needs additional support or has challenges beyond the scope and capacity of the mentor’s responsibilities.

Mentor Eligibility and Qualifications

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Pass all background and reference checks
  • Ability to partner with a youth in developing life skills and behaviors for at least one year 
  • Has a positive attitude, optimism, genuine desire to be helpful, ability to empathize with others, and open to learning new perspectives

Mentor Application & Screening Process

  • Fill out interest form 
  • Submit application
  • Interview for the opportunity
  • Pass background investigation and reference checks
  • Attend a mandatory mentor training
  • Be matched and attend the first match meeting with mentee

Preparation & Training

All AALEAD Mentors are required to attend a two-hour training in positive youth development and mentoring approaches. Attending a pre-match training session does not guarantee that an immediate match would occur.  Additional training opportunities and resources are offered throughout the duration of a mentor’s formal involvement in the program.


Mentor and mentee pairs are based on the youth’s goals, language needs, areas of interest, career aspirations; and the mentor candidate’s competency in developing others to realize their potential.


Mentors are required to submit an ongoing mentor log, summarizing activities done to support their mentee’s progress towards their goals. AALEAD commits to providing mentors with the support and resources they need to learn and develop as a good mentor to ensure that the relationship is rewarding to both the mentor and the mentee.

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