Youth mentoring program

This program pairs adults from the northern Nevada community with refugee youth ages 15-24 who arrived in the US within five years, asylees, Central American minors, as well as minor and adult victims of trafficking.

Refugee youth are especially vulnerable because they experience trauma differently than their parents and often require more resources and services than adults.

The purpose of the mentoring program is to support and engage youth in ways that improve their academic and professional success, to create opportunities for community integration, and to connect youth to community services and programs.

Program objectives

The NNIC Youth Mentoring Program strives to:

  • Empower refugee youth by increasing their self-confidence, developing leadership and social skills, and encouraging community engagement.
  • Guide youth in professional development, which includes skill building, resume drafting, and understanding worker's rights, and support them in maintaining good health, financial comprehension, and academic success.
  • Encourage refugee youth to cultivate positive and empowering relationships that value their diversity and embolden them to celebrate their cultural heritage.

Mentor job description

Mentor role

Take the lead in supporting the mentee through an ongoing, one-on-one relationship including the following:

  • Serve as a positive role model, friend, and confidante
  • Build the relationship by planning and participating in activities together
  • Strive for mutual respect by encouraging open conversation
  • Build self-esteem and motivate mentee by helping set goals and work toward accomplishing them
  • Maintain confidentiality, except when information may cause harm to the mentee or to others
  • Be flexible and provide encouraging support and advice to help mentee succeed

Time commitment

  • One-year commitment
  • Minimum of eight hours per month spent with the mentee, either in person via phone, or through virtual platforms
  • Communicate with the mentee at least two hours per week, either in person via phone, or through virtual platforms
  • Attend two-hour mentor training session, and any additional trainings as required
  • Attend mentor/mentee group events and program activities

Mentor eligibility requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age to mentor youth ages 15 to 17 years old
  • Be at least 25 years of age to mentor youth ages 15 to 24 years old
  • Reside in northern Nevada
  • Be willing to adhere to all NNIC Youth Mentoring Program policies and procedures
  • Complete full screening procedure
  • Agree to attend mentor trainings as required
  • Agree to a one-year commitment to the program
  • Commit to spending a minimum of eight hours a month with the mentee, either in person via phone, or through virtual platforms
  • Be willing to communicate with the mentee weekly, either in person, via phone, or through virtual platforms
  • Be willing to communicate regularly with program staff and submit each meeting and activity information in the Youth Success Tracker form
  • Have access to an automobile or reliable transportation
  • Have a current driver’s license, auto insurance, and good driving record
  • Auto insurance minimum incident coverage must be at least $100,000
  • Pass a comprehensive background check
  • Have never been accused, arrested, charged, or convicted of child abuse or molestation
  • Not be a convicted felon. If the applicant has been convicted of a felony, then they may be considered only after a period of seven years with demonstrated good behavior and an appropriate and corrective attitude regarding past behaviors
  • Not be a user of illicit drugs 
  • Not use alcohol or controlled substances in an excessive or inappropriate manner
  • Not be currently in treatment for substance abuse. If a substance abuse problem has occurred in the past the applicant must have completed a non-addictive period of at least five years 
  • Not currently be under intensive treatment for a mental disorder or have been hospitalized for a mental disorder in the past three years
  • Not have falsified information during the course of the screening process

Application and screening process

  • Complete Adult Mentor Registration Form
  • Complete Adult Mentor Intake Survey
  • Check driving record and gain copy of current insurance coverage
  • Check criminal history: state criminal history, child abuse registry, sexual offender registry. Same checks must be performed in all states resided in as an adult.
  • Provide up to three references
  • Complete personal interview
  • Attend the two-hour mentor training

Program FAQs

Contact information

If you would like to learn more about the Youth Mentoring Program or would like to sign up to be a mentor, contact Refugee Youth Advocate Aaron Laden at