Mentoring

Our community-based mentoring program matches students enrolled in Casa Chirilagua programs with a caring adult mentor. We continually seek new mentors for the students on our mentoring waitlist, as we aim to match each student with a consistent mentor. While each relationship forms uniquely, most pairs spend their time on developing academic, social and emotional skills with special learning experiences interspersed. Along with boosting confidence by acquiring more academic skills, the individualized attention a child receives from a mentor increases a youth’s general sense of well-being. Mentors receive support from the Mentoring Director and the opportunity to experience their mentee’s growth and change. We adopt the common saying, “Transform two lives through one mentor relationship.”

 

Every mentor is required to pass a series of background checks and complete two trainings. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, giving one hour a week to a child in our neighborhood with a commitment of at least one year, please apply to volunteer today.

stories

You did it! Mentoring Month Success

 

Looking ahead with bright eyes and a smile, first grade student Ricardo patiently sat at the kitchen table waiting for his newest friend to come through the front door. This was no ordinary friend – this was Robert, Ricardo’s new mentor. As his new mentor entered, Ricardo’s smile froze in place as he stared at Robert in awe.

 

Only weeks before, Ricardo eagerly asked Casa’s mentoring director, Mr. Jose, several questions about this exciting new mentor he’d soon meet:

 

“Mr. Jose, what’s his name? What does he look like? Is he tall or short? Does he like to play? What does he like to do?” asked Ricardo, barely scratching the surface of the relationship that would ensue.

 

However, on Match Day, Ricardo was overcome with shyness which hindered him from flooding Robert with questions. Match Day is a special day when long-awaiting students finally meet their mentor. Although every mentorship develops uniquely, one thing remains the same: everyone is excited for Match Day.

 

Ricardo is one of four students matched during National Mentoring Month this past January. Four new relationships are being built among mentors, their mentees and their family members!

 

As one matched student stated, “It’s important for me that my mentor gets to know my family.”

 

Clearly, there is an emphasis on connection from all sides in the mentorship. This grows naturally through time together each week.

 

For Ricardo and Robert, and all our new matches, this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Match Day sparks the connection bringing different worlds together. Bridges are built and strengthened as relationships grow – hopefully for many years to come.

 

 

Collage of new mentor/mentee matches with their families

 


 

Learn more about mentoring with Casa Chirilagua here.

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Daniel’s Journey with Two Mentors

Daniel faced the overwhelming task of choosing a career after high school graduation. He was one of many students in the United States representing the first in their family to graduate high school. While working a job and passing his tests, this decision stayed prominently on his mind. However, he was not alone in this process.

 

At his side have been his supportive family and his two Casa mentors Sarah and Emmanuel. Arriving to this point was one of many milestones in their journey together.

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A Student’s Patience

On a cold, grey December afternoon, Katherine stood bundled-up and waiting at the bus stop for her remaining Kid’s Club friends to arrive. Puzzled, she turned to Mr. Jose – Casa Chirilagua’s mentoring director – and she asked, “So, the event on Saturday is going to be only for us mentees, right?”

 

Mr. Jose looked at her and said, “Yes that’s right, and actually our mentors will be there too. Are you excited?”

 

Katherine’s face lit up and stammered, “Yeah! Can my mom and little brother come?”

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When a Child is Brave and Courageous

This is not Andres’* typical Saturday morning. The alarm goes off very early. Waking up his first thought is that it must be a school day—it’s usually what happens when the alarm goes off this early. But his mom reminds him this is no school day. This is the day he will be speaking at City Hall! He and his mentor Michael* will be standing in front of Alexandria’s City Council to speak about Casa Chirilagua. This is a big day!

 

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wishlist

  • Seeking 1-to-1 Mentors

    We are looking for 1-on-1 mentors who are passionate about being a positive role model in a child’s life and can provide a commitment of 1 year or more. Interest meetings, background check process and trainings happen on a rolling basis to prepare mentors for their new relationship. Commitment is minimum 1 hr per week, every week for a minimum of 1 year. You may choose a day that fits you and your mentee’s schedules.

     

    Apply to be a mentor

     

    Emailmentoring@casachirilagua.org