The application, screening, matching, and training process can take up to three months and sometimes longer to complete. This ensures not only the right match, but the well-being and safety of our clients and volunteers.
The first step is completing the written application. Both the mentee (youth) and mentor will be asked to complete applications. Information such as interests, hobbies, availability, preferences, etc. are asked to assist in the matching process.
After your application is received and reviewed, potential influencers will be asked to participate in an interview with one or more staff members from The Colorado Teen Project.
In order to ensure the safety of our youth, background checks are essential. Background checks include checking a potential influencer’s criminal background history, references, the sex offender registry and the child abuse registry, as well as FBI background checks through Verified Volunteers. All information obtained from you will remain confidential (e.g., your social security number will not be shared).
Once the interview and background checks are complete, and the potential influencer has been approved into the program, we will begin the process of matching you with a youth and/or designing a workshop around your areas of expertise. During this process, we will provide each influencer and youth with the necessary training and support that will ensure the success of the program.
Trained staff and/or volunteers from the program will conduct these sessions, which are held prior to the match. The orientation will outline the program and include information to clarify expectations, time commitment, and program benefits or rewards to all those involved.
The program training for mentors will include an in-person orientation followed by a one hour mentor training, online. The training will offer more in-depth information on issues such as program policies and rules, roles and responsibilities, relationship building, age-appropriate activities, problem-solving skills, etc.
The Colorado Teen Project has our own criteria for creating matches; we seek to create long-lasting, compatible relationships between the influencer and youth. We match based upon information such as common interests, hobbies, backgrounds, gender, availability, preferences, life experiences, temperament, etc.
This information is obtained from both parties during the application and interview process. Once the influencer has completed training, and the orientation process is complete, we will foster compatibility between the influencer and youth.
As you start meeting on a regular basis, you will have questions or come across issues that need attention. The Colorado Teen Project provides ongoing communication between staff, navigators, influencers, and youth, to ensure that the match is going well and address any issues that may arise. In addition, we will seek to support influencers in a variety of ways, including workshops, ongoing support, information on community activities and social gatherings.
Staff from The Colorado Teen Project will be available to address any concerns or questions you may have along the way. Are you ready to become an influencer? Great! Let’s get started!