Through the Youth Advocates for Mentoring (YAM) program, MENTOR will train 12 young leaders on advocacy, policy, and grassroots organizing skills in order to create positive change in their communities and nation. MENTOR believes that young people must be at the forefront of addressing systemic issues and that this comprehensive training program will provide young people the real life skills they need to communicate with elected officials, address issues in their communities, empower their peers into action, and advocate for the power of mentoring. MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is a non-partisan organization that seeks to fuel the quantity and quality of mentoring relationships for America’s young people and to close the mentoring gap.

Introducing the 2019-2020 Youth Advocates for Mentoring



“I want to make a difference in a person’s life the same way that my mentor has made in mine. So many people don’t have a voice in this world so they need advocates to fight for them. Advocates are critical to change because they provide those people hope. They provide them with real, human testimonials for a cause. One of the most impactful ways to get others involved in a cause is by allowing them to see its impact first hand and through you.”



“During my time with Youth Advocates for Mentoring, I hope to strengthen my advocacy skills, learn statistical data relating to mentoring across the globe, and converse with like-minded individuals. I also plan to make strong connections so that in the near future I can use the information I receive from the program to help revolutionize mentoring in the United States.”



“I hope to learn many skills involved in working in a professional environment and around important people. The skills I look most forward to are challenging myself in improvisation and thinking on your feet, leadership, voicing opinions, problem-solving, and working with unfamiliar colleagues. I also hope to broaden my perspective greatly.”



“I will empower my students, and let them know that they can run for Congress and they can choose a career in policy by working with an elected official or work on electoral campaigns. I want to become a better mentor and understand how public policy works because in the future I will work in public policy to better serve my community. I want to learn how our community’s voices can influence politicians when they are proposing legislation.”



“I hope to learn how to better represent my community for changes and improvements that affect us all. I believe that my participation in this program will enable me to become a well-rounded individual that can help enact change in my city and promote others to do the same. Through this program I hope to gain greater organizational skills that voice the issues that represent marginalized groups who have little to no voice. I would love to learn how to empower communities and youth to be leaders.”



“I am hoping to learn something new because I have had my experiences, but I’ve always wanted to step out of my comfort zone and let my voice be heard. I want to meet new people of my age and out of my age and see their perspective on the world and problems they have heard around the world. I want all the skills that I can gain. I want to gain more knowledge on others opinions and figures on different things and hopefully gain some insight on their minds.”



“As I prepare for a future in environmental health, I want to learn how to turn my passions into legislative or tangible change. Oftentimes I will be struck by a cause but I never know how to jump in and start bringing the goals into fruition. I know I have the organization, internal excitement, and networking skills to be an advocate, but I want to know the concrete details behind taking emotions and transforming them into something people can follow and be a part of–not just me.”



“During my participation in Youth Advocates for Mentoring, I would like to improve my oral and written communication skills to address a variety of audiences. I would look forward to exchanging ideas with people from around the country and broaden my perspectives. I was recently selected as a student board member for my local mentoring program. Participation in this program allows me to become a more effective representative for my peers among community business leaders. More live experience will help me develop credibility as an advocate.”


New York

“As an aspiring academic counselor, I hope to expand my experience regarding guiding people in need and gain knowledge about how education is being managed on a governmental level. Holding experience as a mentee has helped me understand the importance of mentoring. However, I do not only want to understand but I also want to act upon the needs I see should be fulfilled. Therefore, as a participant in Youth Advocates for Mentoring, it will give me an additional avenue to continue to advocate for the need for mentoring.”


New York

“I hope to learn many things from my participation in Youth Advocates for Mentoring. Gaining mentors means opening up my mind to different perspectives. I am excited to network with people from different walks of life and different cultures. These people can be my future mentors and life-long friends. I hope to learn about the different paths and challenges that other people went through. I hope to improve my communications skills and learn how I can improve to advocate for my community.”



“My dream career is in the realm of human services. I’ve always had a passion for advocacy. I hope that by participating in Youth Advocates for Mentoring I can take away the knowledge, resources, and connections on how to approach this dream of mine. I also want to be more open-minded. I am excited to come across people whose ideals do not align with mine, and I would like to know how to be comfortable with that rather than argue.”



“Youth Advocates for Mentoring is an amazing opportunity to gain new skills that I can use towards my school, community and work at a youth development program. I would like to address how people in the community go through mental health issues and how left untreated mental health issues turn into physical issues that affect schools and our communities.”

Selected Participants will receive: 

  • A 10-month program consisting of a combination of in-person convenings and virtual trainings
    • In-person convenings include trips to Washington, D.C. in October 2019 and July 2020 (Travel, hotel accommodations, transportation, and meals provided by MENTOR)
    • Each month participants will participate in a virtual training
  • A $1,000 stipend for successfully participating in the program
  • Access to advocacy professionals who will serve as mentors during a monthly check-in
  • Collaborative learning and leadership opportunities

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Applicants must reside in the following states: Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, or Virginia
  • Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old when they apply for the program (Applicants must be 16 when the program commences in October 2019. Applicants who will turn 25 years old during the program’s run are welcome to apply as well.)
  • Applicants below 18 years of age, must have a parent/guardian confirm their application and participation in the program and one parent/guardian or one parent/guardian approved adult must attend both events in Washington, D.C. (Travel, hotel accommodations, and transportation provided for one parent/guardian or one parent/guardian approved adult by MENTOR)
  • Applicants must be currently participating in a mentoring program, participated in a mentoring program in the past or have experienced a meaningful informal mentor or role model (teacher, coach, family member, faith leader, etc.)
  • Must have a letter of support from a non-family member regarding their relationship to applicant, applicant’s qualifications, specific successes, and why participating in this program might help the applicant accomplish their goals.

12 participants will be selected. All applicants will be notified via email if they have been selected by Friday, September 27, 2019.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Youth Advocates for Mentoring program are now closed.

For more information:
Contact Adriane Alicea, Director of Government Relations at

MENTOR thanks the following supporters of the Youth Advocates for Mentoring program.

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