Thursday, August 30, 2007

Have you ever considered becoming a vMentor?

Do you care about the plight of young people in and from the foster care system? Maybe you would like to help in some way, but don't know where to start? Perhaps you lead such a busy life, that you worry about taking on a new commitment that you might not be able to juggle?

Why not consider becoming a vMentor to a high school student in foster care or young person who has just aged out of the foster care system and is now navigating his or her way through college?

I became a virtual mentor through the Orphan Foundation of America last year, and over the past 13 months, it has been an absolute joy getting to know my mentee. At first, it took time to get the conversation going! But, after we built a base of trust, my mentee began to share more about her goals and insights - and the experience has been invaluable.

Virtual mentors must be 25 years or older. Mentors are screened through an initial process, including a background check, before being matched with a mentee by OFA staff. A two-year commitment is requested.

Ensuring A Safe Atmosphere:
All emails between you and your mentee must take place on the vMentor portal, in order to maintain a secure and safe setting.

Providing Support and Resources:
Through the vMentor portal, you can not only correspond with your mentee, but if you need assistance, you can contact one of the two mentee support personnel. There are content experts available to provide their expertise on legal issues, counseling, parenting and practical skills. Every month, training for vMentors is provided via a conference call, and the notes from these trainings are available via the vMentor portal.

Need for Male Mentors:
Due to the success of the virtual mentoring program, during 2006, there were average of 250 active mentor-mentee matches at a time. However, there is a great need for male mentors. OFA is currently trying to match 26 male youth who are new to the program, and have only 13 male mentors who aren't already matched.

For more information, please visit:

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Hi, My name is fran and, I'm interested in becoming a mentor to a foster teen. I was raised in the foster system so I know how tough it can be without someone to talk to.
Please send Me information on how I can become a mentor.
Thank You very much. Sincerely, Fran karasek
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