Volunteer with MENTOR

January 10, 2018

Mentor Job Description
MENTOR is an initiative of the First Judicial District that seeks to empower returning citizens through mentoring. Volunteers from the community, some of whom are returned citizens themselves, are paired with individuals currently under county court supervision1. These mentors serve for 12-18 months, providing emotional support and encouragement, as well as helping their participants overcome some of the traditional barriers to successful reentry.

 

Mentor Role
Take the lead in supporting and empowering a young person involved in the justice system. Mentors will:
▪ Serve as a coach and positive sources of support
▪ Build the relationship by planning and participating in activities together
▪ Strive to establish mutual respect
▪ Support participant to increase self-esteem and self-efficacy
▪ Empower participant to set goals and work towards accomplishing them
▪ Support and encourage the participant’s personal and professional development
▪ Commit to practicing active listening and empathy skills

 

Time Commitment
▪ 12-18 month commitment
▪ Spend a minimum of one hour per month face-to-face with a participant (30 minutes minimum for 2 face-to-face sessions) or one face-to-face session for 90 minutes
▪ Communicate with the participant 2x weekly via technology (phone, email, texting, etc.)
▪ Attend an initial 6-hour induction training session (or the appropriate alternative) and additional ongoing mandatory trainings throughout participation in the program
▪ Attend optional mentor/participant group events, mentor support groups, voluntary trainings, and program recognition events

 

Basic Participation Requirements
▪ Be at least 21 years of age
▪ Reside in the Philadelphia metropolitan area
▪ Be willing to adhere to all MENTOR policies and procedures
▪ Agree to a 12- to 18-month commitment to the program
▪ Commit to in-person meeting requirements per month with the participant
▪ Be willing to communicate 2x with the participant weekly
▪ Complete the screening procedure
▪ Agree to attend mentor trainings as required
▪ Be willing to communicate regularly with the Program Coordinator and submit monthly meeting and activity information
▪ Not have falsified information during the course of the screening process
▪ Have never been convicted of child abuse or molestation (other criminal convictions will be screened by the prosecutor to determine eligibility)
▪ If previously incarcerated, must have been home for at least 2 years
▪ Adhere to program volunteer policies as described once accepted
1 Participants have been sentenced in Philadelphia County and may have been incarcerated, may currently be incarcerated, or may be under adult probation supervision

 

Desirable Qualities
▪ Prior mentoring or coaching experience
▪ Willing, active listener
▪ Encouraging and supportive
▪ Patient and flexible
▪ Appreciative and respectful of individual differences
▪ Empathetic
▪ Basic understanding of the Criminal Justice System
▪ Ideal mentor will understand social environment and life experience of participant and can provide informed support
▪ Preferable if mentor has previously worked with similar population
▪ Able to set and adhere to appropriate boundaries
▪ Able to foster a relationship where the participant feels able to voice his/her opinions, decisions, and desires
▪ Willing to share their personal experiences wisely
▪ Able to set reasonable and realistic expectations of and agreements with their participant
▪ A source of motivation and affirmation

 

Benefits
▪ Personal fulfillment through contribution to the Philadelphia community
▪ Satisfaction in supporting someone’s personal growth and achievement of goals
▪ Professional development via offered training sessions and a mentor support group
▪ Personal ongoing support from staff to help the match succeed
▪ Participant/mentor group activities, such as complimentary tickets to community events when available
▪ Participant/mentor recognition events

 

Application and Screening Process
▪ Written application
▪ Criminal history background check
▪ Personal interview
▪ Provide two professional references
▪ Attend mandatory mentor training


For more information, contact MENTOR at 215-686-3731

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