Mentor Duluth

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Mentor Duluth Overview

Mentor Duluth is a collaboration of six Duluth youth serving agencies which include  YWCA Duluth, the Duluth Family YMCA, Copeland Community Center, Valley Youth Center, Neighborhood Youth Services, and the Boys and Girls Club. The program evolved from the “Fatherless Boys Association” formed in 1938 through the Duluth YMCA. In 1996, the Ordean Foundation conducted a city wide needs assessment and determined that positive adult role models for children was the number one need of youth. The youth serving agencies joined together with the common goal of finding caring adults to become positive role models to children in our community. Today, Mentor Duluth leads the community in matching children (grades K-12) with adult mentors and is the largest and most comprehensive mentoring program in Greater Minnesota.

Our Volunteers Are Mentors

Being a mentor does not require a great deal of time or money. Instead, we ask that mentors share themselves and their day-to-day activities with a child. Becoming a mentor is the beginning of a lasting friendship. If you have any questions, please contact the YWCA Mentor Duluth Program Advocate, Kris Simonson at 740-0348 or email

Why We Need Volunteers

Because we have close to 200 children waiting for a mentor.

Who Are The Mentors?

  • Women, Men, Seniors, Couples, Students…individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds

  • Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and no longer in high school

  • Individuals who are stable in their employment, personal relationships, residence and mental/emotional health

  • Individuals who have access to a reliable means of transportation

  • Mentors make a minimum of a one-year commitment to the relationship and see the child 3-4 times per month

Is It The Right Time For You To Volunteer?

It takes time and patience to develop a trusting relationship between a mentor and mentee. Sometimes new relationships can be challenging and somewhat stressful. It is, therefore, important that volunteers be in a stable place in their own lives before becoming a mentor. For example, you may be in transition or under stress due to marriage, separation, divorce, job change, change of residence, legal concerns or you may be in counseling or therapy. If so, you will want to contact one of our caseworkers to confidentially discuss whether or not this is the right time for you to volunteer for our program.

Volunteer Application/Interview Process

Parents put a great deal of trust in our agencies to provide them with volunteers who are appropriate, reliable, use good judgment and can be a stable and positive influence in the life of their child. Therefore, our assessment process is designed to identify appropriate volunteers and acquaint them with their roles and responsibilities as mentors. All volunteers complete the same process, but each is assessed (personal background, life experiences, interests, skills, etc.) on an individual basis.

The application/assessment/match process includes the following steps:

  • Initial interview between potential mentor and Mentor Duluth staff

  • Potential mentors review the orientation packet and complete written application

  • References/criminal history checks done by Mentor Duluth program

  • Personal screening interview(s) with Mentor Duluth staff

  • Child selection between program advocates and mentor

  • Parent/mentor meeting

  • Match meeting with child, mentor, parent and program advocate

  • Volunteer training and on-going staff support

Once a match is made, the program advocate maintains regular contact with the volunteer, parent and child in order to provide ongoing support while the friendship develops.

Thank you for your time and interest. You will be making a difference in the life of a child.

Mentor Duluth mentor application- click here