I became a volunteer mentor with Calaveras Mentoring in 2013. My match and I stayed in the program for almost 6 years, right up until she turned 18 and graduated out of the program. Right from the very beginning I was so impressed with the thought and heart that went into making sure that every match was a good one. I wasn't always so sure, at the very beginning, that my match actually WAS the right one, but it didn't take me long to realize that yes, they knew just what they were doing and they nailed it, spot on. The staff truly cares about everyone involved in this process. I had never felt such support and encouragement from any other organization I had ever been involved with. I always knew I had someone I could reach out to, at a moment's notice, for help and guidance if I needed it, and my mentee felt the same way. The constant classes I had access to through their on-going training were invaluable. The roundtables with other mentors, where we could share openly and learn from each other, were a source of support that benefited us all. I was always so amazed at how devoted everyone in the office was. You could just tell it was so much more than a job to them. They were constantly saying what great volunteer mentors they had, but we all knew it was only because of how great they were. They changed lives on a daily basis, not just the mentees, but us mentors as well. They are making the world a better place, one kid at a time.
Calaveras Youth Mentoring is exactly what the name implies.
Today’s youth are battling life in ways that we cannot comprehend. Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program places well trained, highly screened mentors with young people that need a positive adult role model in their life. The amount of time spent with their mentor has had a positive impact on their lives. I love to hear their stories. This program goes above and beyond.
I have been involved with this group of dedicated volunteers since its inception in 2011. It's a small group of wonderful folks who believe that all our young people deserve safe, supportive adult friends, and they work very hard to raise awareness and funding for Calaveras Mentoring programs. Many of the CMF board members have been mentors themselves and have witnessed the positive impact that a mentor can have on a child' s life. Calaveras is a very small, rural county with few activities and options for kids, and our mentoring programs are vital to our community. The Calaveras Mentoring Foundation is committed to ensuring that they succeed and endure, and has been doing so successfully for almost ten years.
Having had the life enriching gift of helping a child in need of Love, companionship, leadership and guidance walk forward into adulthood, I know that by mentoring children we do “one on one” what no other can do.
This is how we build our future. This is how we teach compassion in others.
My initial experience with the Calaveras Mentoring Foundation was as to a mentor to a young girl of eight. We stayed matched until she was sixteen. When we first met, she was behind in school, very shy and had no idea of the opportunities available to her. As she matured her self-confidence grew and she started to excel in school. She is now looking toward college and working toward her driver's license and car. I am still close to her and the family. I wanted to continue to support the programs and so now work part-time as an admin for the foundation helping the volunteer board of directors with donor management, bookkeeping and communication needs. The organization's key mission is to support the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program, and the youth and young adult mentoring they administer in Calaveras County, CA by building awareness and fundraising. The program has been in existence for 16 years and has helped hundreds of young people and their families by matching adults to individual children as life long friends and role models. The program also sponsors young adult groups with resource persons to help each participant socialize and gain the skills to live independently and make wise life decisions. The Foundation Board members are all volunteers as well as donors. They realize that every dollar spent on administrative and operation costs is one more dollar they can't use to support the programs. Most are or have mentored a youth and have witnessed first hand the positive impact these friendships have on both parties in the match. Eventually, they would like to help other counties establish similar programs so that even more youth can be served. That can only happen with an increase in support from donations and grants.
The Calaveras Mentoring Foundation made it possible for me to volunteer my time building a friendship with an incredible young person. In our time together, my mentee learned how to swim and ride a bike. I have gotten so much more than I could have ever imagined getting involved with mentoring in Calaveras County. The volunteers and staff of the Calaveras Mentoring Foundation are some of the highest quality individuals I know.
The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is a shining star in our community!
I became a mentor to a 10 year old girl in early 2015, and mentored her until she moved out of state this past spring. The support, encouragement, wealth of knowledge, and wide variety of resources and activities provided by this mentoring program is all around superb. For example, my mentee wanted to take dance lessons but did not have the monetary resources. To supplement the money that she and I earned together, the coordinator at the program reached out into the community and found a supporter who paid for a year's worth of dance class and extras like shoes and costumes. The amount of confidence, excitement, and peer involvement this provided to my mentee was beyond measure. To see the smile on her face during and after each class made my heart sing, and often brought tears to my eyes.
When my mentee was removed from her home by social services and moved from place to place, the mentoring program was pivotal in helping me to continue our friendship and become a partner in the foster/family services process.
As a retired teacher, I cannot say enough about the superb level of professionalism, dedication, and knowledge that the mentoring staff brings to supporting every match, and in understanding so completely and compassionately the individual needs of every young person in the program (and every mentor as well).
After my own mentee moved out of state, I was considering volunteering for a different organization closer to my new home. I only considered this briefly, realizing that in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program I already had a family, a community, and a wonderful support system. In the not too distant future, I hope to be matched with a new young person, and if it means driving a bit farther than most, I will gladly do it in order to continue my involvement with CYMP! In the meantime, I am able to stay connected in other ways, such as attending mentor gatherings and helping with field trips, which I also greatly appreciate.
My involvement with the CYMP and CMF began in 2010 as a mentor. Since then I also served in other roles. I found that there are so many different reasons that young people can benefit from being paired with a caring adult as a close personal resource who can help them become stronger, healthier, happy, well rounded adults. Mentees learn many skills from both the one-on-one relationship and also the group activities with other youths and their mentors. The program is administered by very dedicated people who do a great job of attracting suitable mentors, training and supporting them with follow-ups to achieve the best possible results. A large group of volunteers serve as mentors, foundation board members and policy committee members who do a great job of producing very good results at a nominal cost per youth served.
Review from Guidestar
Having been associated with this great organization for the past 10.5 years has been inspiring. I have seen first hand how it has helped young people come out of their shells and develop into very capable individuals.
My experience with two different mentees gave me hope for the future as they grew into more articulate young ladies.
The next generation of leaders, coming from our county, will be better because of the guidance they received from this very worthwhile program.
Donna R. Shannon
Review from Guidestar
As the founding director of the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program and a charter member of the Friends Forever club, I have witnessed first hand the power of mentoring to change young people's lives and to give them the courage to pursue their dreams.
Both the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program and the Calaveras Mentoring Foundation are committed to excellence, transparency and growth. Both organizations welcome and encourage community participation, and both have earned our community's support. These programs, and the youth they serve, are worthy of your investment!
Review from Guidestar
The Calaveras Mentoring Foundation provides funds to help the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program connect local youth with safe, positive mentors who offer friendship, opportunity, and support for making healthy life decisions.
11 years ago, at 18 years of age, my daughter was the second mentor in this valuable program. The relationship she developed with her then 8-year-old mentee has deepened and sustained itself; through the mentee's teen years, career development, childbirth and marriage; through my daughter's resultant higher education and career path in community development and current position as the director of the program.
They are both stronger, wiser, better women for their relationship made possible by the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program. And I do everything within my power to support making that possible for every Calaveras youth seeking a safe and consistent adult friend. Please join me: CalaverasMentoring.Org