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 gives Asian Pacific American (APA) youth the opportunity to be matched in a one-on-one mentorship with a caring adult from the community. Oftentimes, APA youth lack the support needed at home, with families who may not have the skills or time to provide support, and at school, being overlooked as a youth in need due to the impacts of the model minority stereotype. Mentors help to fill that gap by serving as an additional support system.
AALEAD Mentors work with our youth to grow in our outcome areas of Educational Empowerment, Identity Development, and Leadership for a period of at least one year. All mentors are required to go through a background check and screening process, as well as pre-match training. Our staff take the time to get to know each mentor and mentee to make the best match possible and provide support tour mentoring pairs over the course of their relationship by offering additional trainings and group outing opportunities.

AALEAD College and Career Mentoring Program

The College and Career Mentoring Program match older youth, who come from AALEAD’s regional high school programs, with caring adults in the DMV area.  Mentors in this program support first-generation college students and gap year youth with navigating the transition into college and the workforce.

What Mentors Do

  • Model positive behavior
  • Partner with mentees in developing life skills to successfully navigate the transition into college and the workforce
  • Support the mentee in accessing on-campus resources
  • Empower and enable mentees in developing and making progress towards three SMART goals within the framework of AALEAD’s outcome areas
  • Provide personal, academic, and career insights
  • Expand the mentee’s professional network and employability opportunities
  • Enhance their mentee’s belief in his or her own potential  

Commitment Requirements

  • Be available to a one-on-one mentorship for a full year.
  • Meet in person for at least two hours every month, not including the initial match meeting.
  • Communicate regularly through phone, in-person, and/or video chat every month.
  • Support mentees in developing and making progress towards 3 SMART goals.
  • Connect with AALEAD staff and submit a mentor log on a monthly basis.
  • Contact AALEAD staff if the mentee needs additional support or has challenges beyond the scope and capacity of the mentor’s responsibilities.

Eligibility and Qualifications

  • Be over the age of 21 with at least three years of full-time professional experience
  • Pass all background and reference checks
  • Ready to mentor for at least one full year
  • Experience in navigating institutions of higher education
  • Ability to partner with an older youth in developing life skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life after high school, including college and the workforce

Application & Screening Process

  • Submit application materials (CCMP application, resume, and background consent forms)
  • 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 in-person training in positive youth development and mentoring approaches. Attending a pre-match training 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 College and Career Mentoring 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. AALEAD’s College and Career Mentoring Program Coordinator takes the time necessary to get to know both mentees and mentors prior to the match.


Mentors are required to submit a mentor log on a monthly basis, 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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