Community-based vs. Site-based Mentors

Community-based volunteers commit to being a friend and mentor to a youth for at least one year, spending 3-5 hours per week with them. This is typically done on weekends or after school hours.

Site-based volunteers commit to being a friend and mentor to a youth for at least one school year, typically spending 1 hour per week with them during lunch/recess or at an after school program site (i.e., Concord Boys and Girls Club, Bow High School, Hopkinton High School, Penacook Community Center & Elementary and many more).

Both types of mentors go through a rigorous screening process including criminal background checks, professional and personal references, and an intensive personal interview.

Research has proven that Community-based mentoring reduces the chances of a youth deciding to try drugs or alcohol, makes them less likely to hit someone, and improves academic behavior, attitudes, and performance. Results also indicate higher quality relationships with parents or guardians and with their peers.

Researchers looking at School-based mentoring have found improvements in students’ behavior, attitudes, and self-confidence. These students got higher grades in social studies, languages, and math, had better relationships with teachers and with their peers, and were better able to express their feelings.

Both types of mentoring are proven effective ways to improve a young person’s life. The key ingredient that makes mentoring work is the formation of a genuine friendship between the mentor and the child. This may be easier to achieve in the more time-intensive Community-based approach. This approach has a much longer waiting list and simply may not be a good fit for some families.

Sometimes a volunteer will start out as a Site-based mentor and then want to spend more time with the child. In those cases, with your permission, the Site-based mentor (who would receive some additional training and a driving record check) could gain the flexibility of a Community-based mentor by becoming a Site-based Plus mentor. This can be a great way for a Site-based mentor to still see the child during the summer months. In addition, they can participate in monthly program activities offered by the program, and, when schedules allow, can occasionally see the child on weekends – in addition to during or after the school day.

Please understand that the youth mentor program is a volunteer driven community service. We can only match youth if we have screened and trained volunteers available. Therefore, please be advised there is often a waiting period for all youth referred. As soon as the program has a possible volunteer mentor in mind, you will be contacted.