Friday, May 27, 2016

Name it & Win it!

Friends for Youth was named by a Friendship back in 1985 and we need YOUR help once again to name our new mentoring program!  

We have an exciting announcement! At the end of this summer, we will be adding a new school-based mentoring program that will take place at Sequoia High School. We will be offering group mentoring to incoming freshman who have been identified as needing extra guidance and support to reach their goals. 

About the Program:
·      Where: Sequoia High School
·      When: Academic year during school hours
·      Student Mentees: Incoming 9th graders
·      Mentors: Caring adult volunteers
·      Mentor:Student Ratio: 1:4
·      Program Model: Through conversations, activities, and field trips mentees will access tools to develop their interests, build healthy habits and networks, overcome obstacles and reach short and long-term goals.

Program Name: Catchy to teens and adults, may represent a community of support, and students' success. It could even be an acronym... 

Prize: $50 gift card

Deadline for Submission: Wednesday, June 1st

How: Simply email any ideas to The more suggestions the better your chances of winning! 

P.S., Is your mentee all grown up or do you now have more time? If you or someone you know would be interested in getting involved as a group mentor or partner, please contact for more information.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mentee Becomes Mentor

An organizational milestone for Friends for Youth, the first mentee becomes a mentor in 2016

Pictured above are the original photos archived by Friends for Youth of the first meeting between all mentor and mentee matches.

In 1998, 13-year-old Juan found out about Friends for Youth from his friend who was in the program. He was excited to get involved and went to a counselor at Kennedy Middle School to learn more.  Juan had limited resources at home, and was struggling to make friends, pass his classes and improve his English language skills. “I felt like I was missing out on a lot and there was so much to do and see.” 

A few months later, Juan met his mentor, Trish.

“She took me places that I had never been before. We went to Six Flags, we went kayaking, horseback riding, and I visited her at her job, which I thought was cool. She was a DEA Agent at San Francisco Airport. We also watched [her husband’s bike] races.”

Juan attributes his motivation to be healthy, improved social skills, and increased resiliency to the experience. He also said Trish helped him with homework and staff connected him to tutoring services.

He became the first in his family to go to college and graduated with a degree in Child Development. He has since worked as a preschool teacher and is currently in school to become a social worker. Juan reconnected with Friends for Youth for a school project and afterward felt compelled to become a mentor.  “I remembered Trish talking about her job and how she was married. If she made time for me, then I can make time for someone else.”

Juan is now a positive role model for his mentee, Mateo. “It makes me feel good when I expose him to something new… His dad approached me and said I just want to thank you for what you’re doing for [us].”

He recently found Trish on Facebook and exchanged thanks and memories. “I posted a picture of Mateo and myself at the Giants game and she replied that I had made her morning that I was now volunteering.”

Mentoring transforms the lives of youth, families, friends and communities.
Help us expand the ripple effect of mentoring today!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ryan and Leo's College Visit

Ryan decided to take his mentee Leo to his alma mater, SJSU! They explored campus, ate at one of Ryan's favorite local spots and got to talk about school. 

Leo is currently in middle school but would be a first generation college student. This was his first time getting to ask an adult a lot of questions about college and picture himself on a college campus. Having a mentor helps inspires youth like Leo to work hard in school and believe in their goals.

Creating Photo Memories

We love seeing how each Friendship decides to experience their year. Mirjam and Sharon make a photo collage to remember each visit!

Here's their collage from the zoo and what they talked about that day. The text reads: "We absolutely cannot change the past. What happened, happened. The quickest path to hopelessness lies in all of the "what if, could have, should have"... that our minds try to trap us in. Don't travel that path. It will never take you where you need to be. Choose to focus on the moment you are in, and make it enough." It is inspiring to see the creativity and wisdom that comes out of youth and adult friendships!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lots of skating and cheer at Annual Friendship Holiday Party

There was a perfect break in the rain for the Friends for Youth Holiday Party, which was held this past weekend at the Winter Lodge in Palo Alto. Thanks to a very generous Emeritus Friendships donor, more than 50 people enjoyed an afternoon of skating, food, drink, and holiday cheer. Mentors, mentees, and their guests took to the ice and then warmed up with hot cocoa and apple cider. Each Friendship also received a special holiday treat. Everyone was in the holiday spirit, and a car full of canned goods were collected and donated to our local food bank. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mentee Evaluation 2.0

In order to gather outcome results on the effectiveness of our program, Friends for Youth conducts both pre- and post-match interviews with our mentees. Our evaluation tool was created in 2000 by Dr. Cynthia Sipes, then of Public/Private Ventures, and measures areas of impact including academic engagement, risky behaviors, positive behaviors, goals, and self-concept. An outside evaluator/researcher provides analysis of our data.

In 2013 Friends for Youth began working with mentoring researcher Roger Jarjoura of American Institutes for Research to update our mentee evaluation tool. This was the first major revision to our youth interview questions since the evaluation project was created. Among the updates are new data metrics on the impact our Mentoring Services program on bullying, both in terms of victimization and aggressive behaviors. In addition, new questions measuring the trust, empathy, and closeness of the mentoring match were added. Following a pilot project testing the new mentee evaluation tool, Friends for Youth began full scale implementation in late 2014, with results of the first group of youth expected to be completed and analyzed next year. 

In the meanwhile, we have a few highlights to share from our 2015 mentee outcome evaluation data.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meet Our New Program Coordinator!

Sarah is a Bay Area native, and recently moved back from Los Angeles. In LA, she worked at a leadership program for underserved youth and coordinated volunteers. She has also worked with food access, employment, and arts programs. Sarah earned her BA from University of Oregon in Planning, Public Policy and Nonprofit Management. As the Program Coordinator, she is excited to use her experience to support great matches and see how they impact each others' lives.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys the arts, traveling, volunteering and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to meeting and forming Friendships!