LIFE Project treated the relationship between the mentor-mentee as brother's/ sister's/ father & mother figure. That is how close they are to each other.The project through it's hard and dedicated staff/volunteers/and helpers, provide the exact right venue for these young people to experience, to grow, to equipped themselves with the proper and safe tools, ready to face the challenges of surviving. It's a unique group of people that shows tremendous efforts trying to give these young people the future & present life they deserve. They are not trying to take over the role of their parents, but having that open mind and heart, having the guts to walk and listen to them, makes a different in their lives.It's a wonderful bonding opportunity for both mentor-mentee, and also with the staff and volunteers.
I think this program is great. As a mentor, I get to hang out with a great kid and his family. Since his father is in prison, I give him a chance to see how an adult male acts in society. He gives me a chance to re-experience what it was like when my children were his age. I think that this helps everyone involved.
I volunteer as a mentor with the Life Project and find this program to be a very positive one. I currently mentor a youth(mentee) who has a parent who is incarcerated and I meet with my mentee a minimum of 4 hour a month as well as have a weekly check in via telephone. My mentee and I spend time going out to eat, going to the movies, talking about their life experience or participating in some of the activities that The Life Project provides such as seeing The Nut Cracker, going to baseball games or getting together with other mentors/mentees for a group event etc. The Life Project is a great program and I truely believe that the mentees that we mentor benefit a great deal from being a part of this program because they have someone to talk to and listem to them. In addition, they are also able to participate in activities and events that they probably would not if they were not a part of the program. I enjoy volunteering as a mentor for The Life Project and would love to see this program continue because so many of our youth benefit greatly from the program.
I have been a mentor with the Life Project for just over a year. I am paired with a 12 year old boy from Richmond and spend time with him once or twice a month. We play sports, walk my dog, and go to events planned by the program. Last month we went on a bike ride with Trips for Kids in Marin, and a few weeks back we attended the Project What! conference and helped make a group art project. Life Project also has access to free passes for community events and attractions, including sports, museums, and even trips to Alcatraz. My mentee rode on a boat for the first time on the Alcatraz trip and a butterfly landed on his hand in the Rainforest dome at the new Academy of Science. Both things I had never done before and thanks to the program could take him to experience. Life Project is one of my mentee's favorite things, next to food and playing with his friends. It's a big commitment to be solid in his life, but I look forward to helping him succeed.
The Life Project is a mentor program for youth who have been impacted by parental incarceration. The purpose of the program is to build self-esteem and confidence, as well as provide a positive adult adult role model for the kids. I have been a mentor in the Life Project for a year now. My mentee Jackelin and I get together about once a week, since we live near each other in Fremont. We try and do things together that she may not have the opportunity to do on her own (go to museums, plays, musical events). She really enjoys spending time with the other youth and have the opportunity to make friends with people who understand her situation. The Life Project provides lots of guidance to the matches, including providing free tickets to events through the CATS program. We also get together as a group every six weeks or so, which the kids really enjoy. Jackelin and I would never have met if it hadn't been for the Life Project. We both plan to stay with the program throughout her high-school years and continue to make a positive impact on each other!
I am in my third year as a mentor with the LIFE Project. My name is Peter and I live in Berkeley, CA. My mentee's name is Isidro and he lives about 15 minutes away in Richmond, CA. Being a mentor with the LIFE Project has been a great experience and an important part of my life for the last 2+ years. Isidro and I get together every 2 or 3 weeks, usually to see a play or movie, and inevitably get pizza. We talk about what's going on in our lives - school/work, relationships, family, etc. There is a group event for all mentors/mentees every 6 weeks or so, where people connect with other mentors/mentees. These events are a good way to be a part of the overall LIFE Project community. All of the mentees have a family member currently or previously incarcerated, so this connection with other youth in similar circumstances is an important part of the program. At times, these events are fun events like baseball games or barbecues. Other times, they are service events, like food drives. In my opinion, the best events are those that deal with issues of incarceration. The most recent group event was a seminar of workshops and public speakers, put on by Project What!, dealing directly with the issues faced by young people when a parent is incarcerated. The LIFE Project is growing. When I started, we were one group of mentors and mentees. Now there are at least 3 different cohorts. There is the usual ebb and flow of people coming into and leaving the program. As with anything, those who put effort into the program learn and grow as a result of their involvement. As I mentioned already, I feel fortunate to be a part of the LIFE Project, and to have formed a friendship with Isidro and his family.