Refugee Youth Mentor
Purpose and Impact: Catholic Charities of Tennessee Refugee and Immigration Services provide a wide array of programs to help newly-arrived refugees acquire skills they need to acclimate to American culture and responsibilities. The Refugee Youth Mentor will act as a role model, advocate, and supporter for a refugee youth between 9 and 17 years old. Though transitioning to an entirely new environment and way of life is challenging for anyone, adjusting to American culture can prove especially difficult for young refugees. Every youth deserves a cheerful and supportive childhood and adolescence, and you can help make this possible by fostering a sincere, one-on-one connection with one of our clients, many of whom often have little opportunity for building individual relationships elsewhere. As a Youth Mentor, you can provide much-needed stability, support, cultural instruction, and empowerment, all of which are vital for future self-sufficiency and productive citizenship.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
•Commitment to building a supportive relationship with a refugee youth
•Attend and actively participate in mentor orientation and pre-match training
•Complete mentor training
•Meet with mentee at least once weekly to provide community, support, and educational guidance
•Work with mentee to practice English and Math skills and to meet the goals outlined in the Mentee Service Plan
•Complete and submit monthly activity logs
•Regularly contact and follow-up with the Mentor Coordinator
- Ability to empathize and understand young people from different cultural backgrounds.
- Nonjudgmental, with ability to take a developmental approach to working with a young person.
- Sincere desire to be a supportive figure in the life of a refugee youth.
- Active listening skills.
- Adaptability and flexibility.
- Must be at least 18 years old
Preferred Skills: Experience teaching, tutoring, and/or mentoring students is preferred. Proficient foreign language abilities are always a plus!
Support: Mentors will be provided with materials regarding cross-cultural communication, setting boundaries, and the resettlement process to be completed on your own time. There will be a 2 hour wrap-up discussion to process the above materials, as well as a 1 hour class and discussion about understanding trauma. The Mentor Specialist will also be available for questions and assistance throughout your time as a mentor.
Time Commitment: We ask that mentors meet with their mentees at least 2 hours a week, at least once a week, for a total of at least 1 year.
Site and Supervision: Youth mentors will be under the supervision of the Youth Program Coordinator. You will meet with the mentee at various locations, mutually determined by the mentor and the parents of the student.
Volunteer Benefits: As a Youth Mentor works with refugees during formative years of development and resettlement, you can have a tremendous impact on a young person's sense of place and future opportunities. This position is perfect for someone looking for rewarding and challenging work, as well as a chance to learn about diverse cultures and backgrounds. This position also offers valuable leadership experience, as well as an opportunity to learn and grow through our training sessions and ongoing support.
determined by mentor and mentee