Mentor Expectations & Requirements

What’s Expected of you as a Mentor for a WYA Cadet

If you agree to be a mentor for a specific student or want to be considered for a mentor position with a student that you don’t know personally, you’re making a commitment of time, attention, and some expense. We can’t quantify any of these, however, in terms of the potential impact you could have on a young person’s life – the cost is negligible, and the rewards are immense. This is not a token or nominal position and you can plan on the following:

  • Submit a COMPLETE application providing all requested information
  • It is crucial that mentors have a valid email address and check it regularly. The mentor coordinator will update you on the status of your application. During the screening phase, mentors will be assigned an advocate. This person will send out email reminders and important information regarding mentor training, visitations, commencement and other information relating to the students’ progress.
  • Maintain WEEKLY contact with the student/mentee during the residential phase primarily by letter or email. We encourage mentors to start sending letters immediately following their students acceptance to the cycle.
  • Participate in mandatory online training.
  • The WYA staff will review the application and do a reference check and coordinate the required criminal histories background check.
  • Participate in 2-3 scheduled virtual events during the Residential Phase with their cadet.
  • After commencement, maintain weekly contact with the mentee for the next 12 months, with a minimum of four hours of personal contact each month.
  • Once a month, you’ll submit a brief online report of the student/mentee’s progress.

To be a mentor, you:

  • Should be at least 25 years old (some exceptions, former WYA graduates and military personnel must be at least 21 years old).
  • Must be of the same gender/sex as the applicant.
  • Cannot be an immediate relative, either by marriage or bloodline or someone living in the same household.
  • Must live within the same geographic area of where the student will return to after graduating the residential phase (to minimize travel).
  • Must be willing to commit for 17.5-months with four contacts per month with a minimum of four hours of personal contact.
  • Should be able to submit a timely, brief report (online) each month to document the student’s progress.
  • Must be able to provide a government issued Social Security Number. If unable to provide a government issued SSN, you may provide, at your own cost, fingerprinting through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Program approval required. Please do not complete fingerprinting without further instruction and approval from the program.

An in-depth background check is required for all adult volunteers working with youth for the WYA. Program staff will walk you through this process and work with you to get the required documentation. If the comprehensive background check reveals the following, you will be notified and asked to withdraw your application:

  • A history of arrest or conviction for a sex offense and/or violent acts towards children.
  • A felony conviction or any alcohol, drug, or substance abuse within the last five years.