What is Mentoring Today?
- Mentoring is a time-proven strategy that can help young people from all circumstances achieve their potential.
- Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentees.
- Formal mentoring programs are long-term and deliberate, normally led by a third party; in this case, Oxnard PAL.
- Minimum time requirements are established.
- Mentors are taken through a screening process including a background check
- Mentors and mentees are strategically matched
- The overseeing agency will supervise the match and provide support for the both the mentors and mentees.
Young people are more vulnerable to the stress of social changes than ever before. More and more frequently our youth are presented with opportunities to engage in high-risk behaviors that have tragic, long-term consequences.
What does the research say?
- Studies show that being matched with an adult mentor DECREASES the likelihood of initiating in drug and alcohol use; and engaging in physical violence and negative behaviors.
- In addition, youth matched with an adult mentor show an INCREASE in goal setting, expectations and academic performance.
The Oxnard PAL Youth Leadership & Mentoring Program is available to all youth ages 12 to 18. A maximum of 10 youth to 1 mentor ratio will be maintained for all mentoring and leadership activities. 1:1 mentoring may be added upon request and is limited to availability. Youth are matched with mentors according to their interests, hobbies and other personal descriptors. A commitment of 12 months is required by all program participants.
- Community Service / Civic Awareness
Mentees and Mentors will participate in monthly community service projects. Community service projects can range from serving food in a soup kitchen, to cleaning up trash in a local parks, to starting a bully prevention group. Whatever the mission, community service creates stronger communities by engaging our young citizens in their civic responsibility. In addition to serving the community, as volunteers, youth will gain insight into the challenges facing their community, have the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their leadership skills.
Mentees will participate in monthly leadership and/or educational training sessions. Through these sessions, youth will learn important life skills, how to take action, lead by example and develop a purpose that benefits the community and motivates others to join in.
Youth will participate in monthly meetings where they will discuss future community service projects, leadership trainings, etc.
- Improve self-esteem, attitudes, academic performance, social skills and work habits of young people.
- Reduce antisocial, at-risk and juvenile delinquent behavior.
- Enhance connection and commitment to school, family and community.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Where will the mentoring take place?
All 1:1 mentoring will take place at Oxnard PAL. Group meetings and trainings will be held at various locations and permission slips will be sent home in advance to notify parents/guardians.
Who are the mentors?
Mentors will include PAL staff, partners and community volunteers. All mentors are trained and screened prior to start.
When will the meetings occur?
Most meetings will take place after school between the hours of 3 pm and 7 pm. With the exception of summer, most community service projects will take place on the weekend. What can I do if I'm unable to provide transportation?
Oxnard PAL offers an after-school "pick-up" for parents or guardians unable to provide transportation to scheduled meetings.***
* Some large group activities will take place off-site. Signed parent permission slips are required prior to any off-site activities.
** Summer season meetings may take place between 11 am and 7 pm.
*** Transportation should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance to ensure pick-up.
Beginning the process is easy.
To get started, print, complete and return the linked Parent/Guardian Consent Form and Youth Application.
Want to become a PAL Mentor?
To begin, print, complete and return the linked PAL Mentor application.
If you are unable to download and/or print these files, forms are available in the PAL Youth Center and PAL Office.
For more information, contact the PAL Office at (805) 385-8230 and ask for Janice Zaragoza.