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How mentoring works

A timeline for mentor and youth matching at BCMP


A youth or mentor requests a match

At any given time, about a dozen kids or teens in Boone County are usually waiting for a match.

We interview them and have them fill out an interest application with a school counselor or parent. This also ensures the youth wants to participate.

Adults interested in mentoring also fill out an application to help us cross-match interests and personalities.

A mentor and mentee at a restaurant


We conduct preliminary background checks

For youth, we ensure they are actively interested in participating. Those who aren’t, or whose parents or guardians aren’t, are saved for future consideration. We also work with our partners to learn more about the child, such as from teachers or coaches.

Adults undergo a mandatory background check. We also contact their references, interview them to gauge their commitment and interest, and ensure everyone follows our safety and commitment standards.

Elmer and a young boy sit at a table working on crafts


We start looking for matches

Since there are more youth in Boone County waiting for matches than there are mentors, we sometimes have to put kids in a waiting list. But we review all our current un-matched mentor applicants for interests, scheduling conflicts, character compatibility, and more.

In this process, our staff may also contact local organizations or people who aren’t current mentors to recruit people we think might be good fits.

A teen boy, young boy, and adult mentor outside Wrigley Field


An initial match is made

Once we consider a potential match possible, we share the youth’s application with the adult mentor candidate. Privacy is protected, but we share a little about the child’s background, interests, age, and personality.

The mentor candidate can move forward or ask to see other candidates.

A mentor and young girl hold up apples from apple picking.


A meeting is setup at our office

Once the adult agrees to a match, we share that information with the child and their parent. Once all parties agree, we will arrange an initial meet-and-greet at our office in Lebanon.

Our staff facilitates this meeting to help break the ice, answer questions, introduce each other, and facilitate a conversation without awkward silences — we know it can cause a little nervousness, but we’ve gotten good at it!

An adult and mentee outdoors smiling in a selfie


New matches move forward together

Once everyone’s ready, it’s up to matches to move forward together. We’ll help schedule activities, events, and low or no-cost ideas for things to do.

Mentors are free to make up their own activities, like working in a wood shop, volunteering, fixing up cars, playing games, hiking, fishing, shopping, dining, watching movies, or whatever else sounds like a great time together.

We will continue to follow up independently with each party every month to ensure things are going smoothly. If either party has any questions or concerns, they can contact us anytime.

Young women go hiking and wading into a river outdoors.

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