A mentor that is matched with the youth is older and more experienced. The focus of a mentoring relationship is to help youth gain self-esteem and self-confidence in order to bring out the youth’s strengths, abilities and assets through resources provided, experiences shared and mutual activities. Mentors support them by being their friend and building a relationship of trust. Youth will be more equipped to make responsible decisions and solve problems easier by learning conflict-resolution skills. Mentors are required to commit to a minimum of one year of mentoring
and must submit an application, screening and background checks. Three references and three background checks are required. The potential mentor is interviewed by the Coordinator in the mentor’s home to consider their experiences and interests. Volunteer mentors commit to a minimum of one year of service, meeting with their mentees 2-4 times a month for 2 or more hours for educational, recreational and social activities. Our mentors will guide and support their mentees with encouragement through real-life situations. Download the Mentor Application.

If, after a year period, a mentor agrees to continue for another year, a rematch form is signed by all parties and the relationship will continue for another year. If a mentor wishes to discontinue the relationship after a year or more, a closure form is signed by all parties involved. If the parents and child still want to be in the mentor program, STARS will find a new mentor for the child. If a mentor chooses to discontinue the current relationship but become a mentor for a different child, STARS will welcome him/her as long as his performance has been satisfactory.


Youth are primarily referred to STARS/CMC by school or human service personnel, social services, churches or parents. However, anyone who works with youth may refer a family to STARS/CMC. Parents often request a mentor because they have heard of the program and think it might be helpful for their child. Download the Youth Registration Form and the School Release Form.

Youth must meet the following eligibility requirements before they can qualify for a mentor:

  • Be 7-18 years old.
  • Reside in the STARS service area.
  • Demonstrate a desire or willingness to participate.
  • Have a risk factor in their lives, such as adverse childhood events (ACES), ADD or ADHD, lack of academic progress, truancy, bullying, delinquency, substance abuse, or family problems caused by substance abuse, mental health issues or economic stress.
  • Parents or guardians must give permission and support mentoring.
  • Willingness to participate in special activities.

A youth that enters into the mentoring program has strengths, abilities and assets of their own, but may not realize all that he/she has to offer.


Mentor-Mentees are paired and matched by:

  • Interests – Both youth and mentors complete interest surveys.
  • Gender – Usually matches mentors with youth of the same sex.  However, there are occasions when boys may be matched with female mentors if a female role model is needed.
  • Traveling Distance – Mentors and mentees are more likely to meet frequently when they live close together or the youth goes to school in the town where mentor lives or works.
  • Ages – Mentors can request an age of a child to work with.
  • Needs of the Child – Considering the needs of the child and tries to find an adult who will be most likely to meet those needs.
  • Life Experiences – Mentors with more experience with certain things are matched with youth who need various things. (i.e. ADHD with retired teacher).
  • Background – Family background is used for matching.
  • Energy Level – Considers whether the mentor will have the energy to work with a specific child.
  • Refusal – Mentors always have a right to refuse a match.

Parents, mentors and youth, with guidance from the coordinator, decide when the mentoring relationship will end.  Occasionally a relationship ends early. Reasons are documented and if the child is paired with another volunteer, care is taken to make sure the parent and child understand the programs’ guidelines. STARS reserved the right to ask a mentor to discontinue for any reason. Most relationships continue until the youth graduates. When a relationship closes, all parties sign an agreement stating that STARS is no longer responsible for any contact they maintain. Some maintain life-long friendships.