Youth Mentor Program
This program is for individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 who have moved to the United States within the last five years. The ratio of mentor to mentees is usually 1:5. Goals for each individual enrolled in the mentors program are completely set by the mentees themselves. Those goals are achieved by the mentees who have the support of our amazing mentors who exhibit critical community connections, education, employment or social skills, as well as shared experiences in integrating and connecting to a new home.
The mentor program is made possible by crucial partnerships in the community. This includes, but is not limited to: Signature Soul, Maine Community Integration, Maine Access Immigrant Network, Maine Youth Justice, Maine People’s Alliance, Coffee by Design, New Ventures, and LA Arts
"The mentoring program made me realize there are people out there who need help, who need someone to talk to and some guidance, because they’re new to the area. I really like how comfortable my mentees are with me. They quickly started to treat me like I was their brother, someone they had known for quite some time. This program gave me a purpose – growing up, we didn’t have services like this in place to help me adapt and to help me figure things out. I had to figure everything out on my own. For that reason I’m glad to be helping these kids navigate their environment and anything else that might trouble them. ”
of Greater Portland
“Gateway Community Services of Maine is a place where I can be myself and connect with my fellow youth and adult peers of the community. It’s where we get to enjoy ourselves, brainstorm ideas for the community or organize programs and events for the youth here in Maine. One of these programs is the mentoring program, which I am honored to be in. Not only is it a place for someone like me to connect with my youth peers, but also a way for me to grow as an individual and a human. This program will be the first of many beautiful things to come to our amazing Maine youth.”
“I am a mentor in the Youth Mentoring Program here at Gateway Community Services of Maine. I like meeting with my mentees every week to help them with their needs and schoolwork. It’s an opportunity for both of us to learn from each other as I am learning much from them as well. They remind me of myself when I was in high school and the challenges that I went through in adjusting to the U.S. In this program I can try to help them and provide ways to ease their transitional experience in high school and hopefully in college. ”
“I help my mentees find jobs and pursue their educational goals. For example, I was able to help one of my mentees find the learning center and teach them how to use resources in the library to find books and study spaces. I feel that I have been able to connect with mentees both personally and professionally. What I love the most is helping them navigate and find their way around their new community.”