Enroll Your Child
College Mentors for Kids taps into the power of relationships to help kids and college students build resiliency and become better prepared to tackle life’s many challenges.
Our program gives kids a chance to experience that unique feeling of a college campus and explore potential pathways for their future.
College Mentors for Kids provides both kids and college students with a place to belong and build skills to thrive now and in the future.
Each week after school, your child will take a bus to the college campus where they will participate in hands-on activities with their mentors. They will explore different majors and college life, participate in service, and learn about cultures and diversity.
Mentoring can lead to stronger relationships with peers and adults, build confidence in young people, and improve academic performance.
Our program is free for kids and mentors because we know access to enriching after-school opportunities is not always equitable.
After several years of adapting due to COVID, we are excited for all campuses to be in-person, on-campus this year!
Learn about our COVID safety protocols.
What is College Mentors for Kids?
- National mentor program established in 1996
- Matches elementary school children with college student mentors
- One-on-one mentoring in a group setting
- Weekly, afterschool during the school year
- Hands on activities take place on the college campus
- All costs are covered by College Mentors for Kids
Who are the mentors? Will I get to meet my child’s mentor?
Mentors are college students enrolled at a university with a chapter of College Mentors for Kids. Family members are invited to attend both the first and last activities of every year, so you will have an opportunity to meet your child’s mentor.
How are mentors screened/trained?
College students apply annually to be mentors and are interviewed and selected by college student leaders at their chapter. Every mentor is also required to pass a background check of the national criminal database and sex offender registry. A new background check is run every year a mentor participates in the program. All mentors are also required to complete both online and in-person trainings before they begin mentoring.
How long will my child be with his/her assigned mentor?
Mentors and kids are both asked to commit to the program for one full academic year. If a mentor does leave the program early, your child will have an opportunity to be matched with a new mentor, but we make every effort to keep pairs together for a minimum of one school year. If both the mentor and child return the following year, they will be re-matched whenever possible.
What is expected of children’s families?
Families of little buddies are expected to enroll their children by the deadline set by the elementary/middle school. They are also expected to help ensure their child attends activities each week since consistent attendance is important for providing kids with the best experience possible.
How will you keep my child safe?
College student leaders are given extensive crisis management training, and all mentors are required to take an online safety training each year they participate in the program. Mentors and kids always do activities in a group setting and are never alone together.
Does the program last the entire school year?
Activities begin in the fall and run through the spring, and they are held once a week for two hours. The program follows the academic calendar, so if there is a day that either the university or elementary/middle school is not in session, there will not be an activity.
How long can my child participate?
We ask kids in our program to participate for a minimum of one full academic year, but we encourage multiple-year participation. Your child will be able to continue in College Mentors for Kids as long as they attend one of our partner schools and are invited by the school to participate.
After I submit my registration, what are next steps?
Once you submit your registration, you should wait to hear from the school about whether your child was selected for the program. If your child is selected, you will receive a calendar with activity dates for the year.
Do you help with homework?
No, we focus on instilling the importance of education at a young age but do not provide tutoring or homework help.
I want to enroll my child but he/she does not attend one of the elementary schools partnered with College Mentors for Kids. What can I do?
While we are only able to enroll children that attend one of our partner schools, there are many great mentoring programs that may be a great fit for your child. Look for a Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate near you, or visit the MENTOR Connector at https://www.mentoring.org/get-involved/find-a-mentor/#zipsearch2 to search for programs in your area. You can also talk to the guidance counselor or social worker at your child’s school for more information about local mentoring programs.