Chautauqua Striders


By definition, a mentor is a member of the community willing to volunteer time with a young person to assist in achieving academic, career, and personal goals.

A mentor is a role model and guide who provides support and encouragement, offers friendship, listens, shares life experiences, and gives caring advice. The mentoring component of Chautauqua Striders has become an increasingly important part of the organization.

How our program works
Children in grades 2 through 12 are recommended by school staff as those that might benefit the most from the one-on-one caring relationship of a mentor. Youth, known as mentees, declare their interest in becoming involved in the program. Parents/guardians give written permission for the involvement of their child. They are invited to participate in family events throughout the life of the grant.

What do mentors and mentees do together each week?
Mentors and mentees decide together what they are going to do each week. Popular activities include reading, arts and crafts projects, homework help, playing sports, games and research on the computer, setting goals or just listening and talking. Consistency is the most important ingredient in a strong mentoring relationship.

Does mentoring work?
Most of us can recall individuals in our personal and professional lives who have supported us in a non-judgmental way, guided us through some difficult times and stood by us no matter what. In order to be successful, it is hoped that all of us will have not one but multiple mentors in our lives.

Mentoring has become a movement all across America. It is positively changing the lives of both mentors and mentees and it is an approach that is clearly making a difference for our youth. Striders is doing its part to deliberately provide mentors for youth in area schools. Currently, dedicated members of the community including: business, social, civic and fraternal organizations, municipal employees, retirees, school employees, college youth and non-profit organizations are serving selflessly as mentors.

The benefits to mentors
Mentors benefit as much, if not more, than the youth. For many, this is the best thing that happens to them all week.

Mentors report that mentoring:
• benefits mentors as much as youth
• mentors report they have fun, learn more about themselves, get a fresh perspective on life and feel more satisfied.

Companies find that mentoring;
• helps with employee retention
• improves employee health and well-being

The benefits to mentees
Youth in the program are:
• raising their grades
• getting along better with their peers
• improving their attitudes toward school and home
• making better decisions

Young people are having fun with their mentors and think that spending time with them weekly is really cool. Many of the mentees report that they want to be just like their mentor!




be a mentor






Become A Mentor

Follow this link to an online application form. "Mentor One Child, Change Two Lives - Be a Mentor."

More about Mentoring

Read more and learn about our youth mentoring programs.
Mentoring Brochure


Community Partners

Hope's Windows


Our Mentoring Program History


Project Visions

This program has provided mentoring to middle and high
school youth in the greater Jamestown area since 1993 and was one of the earliest such efforts at connecting adults with children in need of a little extra attention. Visions is considered
“community-based” because mentoring pairs usually meet in settings outside of school and participate together in many service-oriented and social activities. This is a wonderful venue for sharing experiences and opening new vistas for “tweens” and teens.

GearUp/Project ME

New York Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is aimed at promoting early college awareness. In 2005, the entire cohort of seventh grade students in Jamestown Public Schools was chosen to participate in this “in-school mentoring” program. These youth have been given a number of “mentoring experiences” through Project ME. With graduation and college entrance being the ultimate aims, students will be followed through their senior year in high school and given encouragement, support, and a vision for a new future.

Project JAM

Funded by a three year federal grant in 2006, Project JAM seeks to give students in grades four through six an older, wiser person to look up to for guidance and encouragement. Also classified as “in-school,”
mentoring matches meet once per week for 30 minutes to one hour. Because meetings are usually scheduled during lunch periods, time is provided to talk, to play games, and to build friendships in a familiar environment.

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