Our Mentoring Goal

To ensure that all young people enrolled at Clarkson have the support and guidance necessary to fully realize their academic and professional potential.

The Benefits

Few endeavors do more to shape young people’s aspirations and help them realize their potential. In return, few endeavors reap more profound rewards for all who become involved in the mentoring process—because mentoring works.

Mentoring is not a new concept; it has its roots in ancient Greece. And throughout the millennia, mentoring—providing guidance and counsel to a younger individual—has occurred spontaneously as informal relationships: a supervisor at work who takes an interest in a young person’s upward mobility; an older family member who provides a shoulder to lean on when needed; and *you* a caring alumnus spending time with a current student!

In recent years, as growing numbers of people have recognized the tremendous power of mentoring, formal mentoring programs like ours have been cropping up throughout the public and private sectors. Consequently, we have seen a growing need for skilled mentors and effective mentoring programs that adhere to sound management and operation practices and we hope you choose to participate in this program!

Mentoring Options

Traditional One-to-One Mentoring. One-to-one mentoring places one adult in a relationship with one youth. At a minimum, the mentor and mentee should meet regularly at least four hours per month for at least a school year.

E-mentoring (online mentoring, or telementoring). E-mentoring connects one adult with one youth. The pair communicate via the Internet at least once a week over a period of a school year. We will try to encourage at least one face-to-face meetings if possible as a kickoff event. Mentors will serve as a guide or advisor in school- or career-related areas; for example, helping the mentee complete a school project or discussing future education and career options.

Mentoring Roles

Character, social and leadership development. Mentors will focus primarily on building a relationship with a student to serve as a role model and life coach. In this model, the mentor and the mentee decide the types of activities they will do together. Their main interest is just to spend time together, talking or playing games, visiting museums, and so on. While some of their activities may be academic in nature (e.g., reading together), there are no defined expectations for improving the mentee’s academic skills or acquiring new skills and knowledge. The focus is on building the relationship.

School-to-career. This model, which incorporates a more intentional effort to help young people explore a career direction, is most frequently used at the middle school and high school levels. It is particularly effective for high school students, who tend to drop out of traditional mentoring programs.

Academic success. This model incorporates a more intentional effort to exert a positive influence on a child’s academic success. The activities between the mentor and the mentee are determined jointly by the school and the mentor (the school may provide an activity guide to mentors). In this type of program, mentors help youth with class work and/or special projects on a regular basis, either in the classroom or at the workplace. The mentoring pairs read together, do homework, talk about being successful in school, and so on.


All in-person mentoring will take place at Clarkson Secondary School. The mentor comes to the school to meet with the child, typically for one hour a month. School personnel supervise the program.

Characteristics of our Mentors

  • Caring and Good listener
  • Stable
  • Can provide leadership
  • Reliable (e.g., shows up on time)
  • Committed
  • Nonjudgmental
  • Discreet (will keep information confidential)
  • Patient
  • Likes children
  • Has a good sense of humor
  • Tolerant
  • Outstanding employment record
  • Does not attempt to replace parent or guardian

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor please fill out the volunteer form and we will contact you about the next steps!

Become a mentor!