Youth Mentoring

Youth Mentoring is an Investment in the Future

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Goodwill Industries of the Valleys offers mentoring programs for youth ranging from age 7 to 21. Mentoring services focus on preparing students for school completion, developing work skills, identifying career paths, and transitioning to post-secondary education. Youth enrolled in Goodwill mentoring programs receive guidance through trusted adult mentors. Goodwill offers Youth Mentoring through:

Mentor Requirements for Youth Mentoring

The mentoring program uses adult volunteers committed to supporting, guiding, and being a friend to a young person for a period of at least one year. By becoming part of the social network of adults and community members who care about the youth, the mentor can help youth develop and reach positive academic, career, and personal goals.

Photo of a teen boy with an adult mentor

  • At least 21 years of age (at least 16 years old for peer mentors).
  • Background Check including criminal, National Child Abuse Registry Sexual Offender Registry, and driving record
  • Adhere to all GoodGuides policies and procedures
  • Agree to a one-year commitment to the program
  • Commit to spending a minimum of 4 hours a month with the mentee
  • Willing to communicate with the mentee weekly
  • Participate in additional career-focused activities with mentees, up to 2 hours per month
  • Complete screening interview, orientation, initial training, and on-going mentor training as required
  • Communicate regularly with the Mentor Coordinator and submit monthly meeting and activity information
  • Access to reliable transportation to reach mentoring locations
  • No excessive use of alcohol
  • Not currently in treatment for substance abuse or if substance abuse has occurred in the past, the applicant must have completed a non-addictive period of at least five years
  • Not currently under treatment for a mental disorder or have been hospitalized for a mental disorder in the past three years

Complete the Mentor Referral Form

GoodGuides® GoodGuides LOGO BlueYouth Mentoring

The GoodGuides Youth Mentoring program is dedicated to helping youth build career plans, skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work. The program provides structured and supportive relationships with trusted adult mentors.

GoodGuides serves youth ages 12 to 17 who are at risk of delinquency or who have already had contact with the juvenile justice system. By becoming part of the social network of adults and community members who care about the youth, the mentor can help youth develop and reach positive academic, career, and personal goals. Services will be provided in a variety of community settings and times appropriate for the mentee and mentor.

GoodGuides focuses on positive youth development, emphasizing the aptitudes, skills, interests, and capabilities of youth versus deficits they may have when they are enrolled. The family strengthening approach focuses on the philosophy that youth are more likely to thrive when they are living in stable households, have healthy relationships with family members and caregivers, and have access to community resources.

GoodGuides is offered to individuals living in the Cities of Roanoke, Salem, and Lynchburg, as well as Roanoke County.

Youth Eligibility for GoodGuides Youth MentoringPhoto of a group of teens

Priority youth enrollees will be middle and high school students, youth with disabilities and disadvantages, and youth with multiple risk factors. Risk factors may include low income, poor academic performance, truant, single parent household with lack of supervision, victim of family violence, homeless, teen pregnancy and substance abuse. Participants may be referred through parents or guardians, their local school system, court services, or social services agencies. To be enrolled in GoodGuides a youth must be:

  • Age 12 to 17 at the time of enrollment
  • At risk for delinquency due to family, home, community or social environment or present or past involvement with the juvenile justice system
  • Able to demonstrate a desire to participate in the program and a willingness to abide by all GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program policies and procedures
  • Able to obtain parental/guardian permission and ongoing support for participation in the program
  • Agreeable to a one-year commitment to the program
  • Able to commit to a minimum of four hours a month with the mentor
  • Willing to communicate with the mentor weekly
  • Willing to participate in a minimum of two hours of career awareness activities per month
  • Able to complete the program screening procedure
  • Able to attend mentee trainings as required
  • Willing to communicate regularly with the program staff

GoodGuides Mission

To empower youth to make positive choices that enable them to maximize their current and future potential.


GoodGuides is a grant funded program through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Delinquency Prevention. Additional funding support for GoodGuides comes from David E. Looper & Company and Wells Fargo.

For more information on GoodGuides Youth Mentoring, e-mail or call (540) 581.0620 option 2.


Franklin County Youth Mentoring

The Franklin County Youth Mentoring program provides youth ages 7 to 21 in Franklin County, VA the opportunity to develop the skills needed to live a successful life. Mentored youth experience greater confidence, decision making abilities, and skills needed to achieve goals and their fullest potential. Through placements with adult mentors, youth receive guidance, support, and encouragement needed for character development through activities, which are educational, recreational, and relationship building.

Youth are referred to the Youth Mentoring program by community agencies or the local school systems. The program is funded through the Comprehensive Services Act for At Risk Youth and Families (CSA).

Franklin County Youth Mentoring is offered to individuals living in Franklin County.

Mentor Role for Franklin County Youth Mentoring Program

Mentors will undergo extensive screening to include interviews, criminal background, reference, and DMV checks. The mentor will:

  • Be a responsible, caring adult who, in partnership with the parent and legal guardians, provides support, counseling, friendship, reinforcement, and a constructive example
  • Be a good listener with a desire to bring out the strengths of the youth
  • Provide an in-depth assessment of the individual youth’s needs
  • Become involved through one on one interaction with the youth

Youth Mentoring Benefits Everyone

Mentoring programs are designed to help youth learn to lead successful, responsible lives. Mentors help them learn to resolve conflicts and accept responsibility, while the youth is gaining this experience there are also positive outcomes for the mentor and community.

  • Benefits for youth: improved academic performance, higher graduation rates, increased communication skills, improved peer/family relationships, and improved self esteem
  • Benefits for mentors: sense of accomplishment, appreciation of youth from diverse backgrounds, greater pride in their community, and increased self-respect for having affected a child’s life.
  • Benefits for employers: improved image in the community, increased community awareness of mission, prepared workforce, and advanced diversity goals.
  • Benefits for communities: decreased rate of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, school dropout, and juvenile crime.

For more information on Goodwill’s Youth Mentoring Program, e-mail or call (540) 483.0296 ext. 107.