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.
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.
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
Eligibility and Qualifications
Application & Screening Process
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.