Relationships are at the heart of our Mentor Program. We believe (and research shows) that guidance and support is crucial for healthy youth development. For many of our youth, however, they report not having meaningful access to positive adult role models that they can count on. Often, a FLY Mentor is the first sober, positive person in the youth’s life. Interested in sparking change in a young person’s life? Click here to get more information about being a mentor.
Who Do We Serve?
Started at the request of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, FLY’s Mentor Program serves youth struggling with substance abuse, and has been expanded to include youth on general probation. This year, FLY is serving over 100 youth (and their mentors) in Santa Clara County.
What Does the Mentor Program Teach the Youth?
Our Mentor Program teaches youth to discover how to have fun and solve problems without turning to alcohol, drugs, or crime. Mentors help their youth (“mentee”) develop new attitudes, behaviors, and ambitions.
What Are the Goals of the Mentor Program?
Our goal is to help mentees (with the help of their mentors) build the foundation for a relationship which provides youth with the connection, stability, and confidence to envision and pursue a brighter future.
How Do Mentees Benefit From the Mentor Program?
Youth learn to judge their behavior choices, have a consistent sounding board and caring person in their life, and as a result, they make better life decisions.
- Mentees receive individualized attention, support, and consistent encouragement.
- Monthly FLY-sponsored group activities for mentors and mentees, such as horseback riding, bowling, and white water rafting.
- Attendance and advocacy at the mentee’s court hearings and school functions.
- Youth, mentors and FLY case managers work together on solutions and goals for the mentee’s future.
What is the Mentor Program’s Impact?
FLY’s Mentor Program has a history of success. For example:
- Over 90% of mentees report that they have significantly reduced or eliminated their use of drugs and/or alcohol as a result of participating in the Program.
- 95% of mentees now have goals and hope for their futures.
- 91% of mentors complete their year-long commitment.
- Last year mentors collectively provided nearly 3,000 hours of service (average 8+ hours/month per mentor)
What others say:
A former FLY client said, “Now I am following up on job interviews, following up at school even when I don’t want to. And now I get along better with my mom because my mentor encouraged me to talk to my mom.”
Another shared, “I am stronger, I can say I don’t want drinking and drugs, I can think about consequences.”
Former Juvenile Court Judge Eugene Hyman shared: “FLY is important because most of these kids don’t trust anyone. They do need hands-on attention. And that is what FLY Mentors give them- someone they can count on and trust and have a positive relationship with. Without FLY I know I would see far more repeat offenders. Not having FLY would be a tragic loss. These are mostly kids without fathers, whose mothers work. It’s strange but in a year of probation for instance, the probation officer can change, the judges can change and the only person that doesn’t change is the FLY Mentor. I depend on the mentors of FLY.”
For more information on the Mentor Program, contact Cassidy Higgins at Cassidy@flyprogram.org.