Find everything you need to know about mentoring students in FCPS.
MentorWorks is the school-based mentoring program in Fairfax County Public Schools with a mission to connect every student to a caring, responsible adult.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is someone who, along with parents, provides young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement, and constructive example. A mentor is a good listener, someone who cares, someone who wants to help young people bring out strengths that are already there. A mentor is a caring, responsible person who is interested in giving time to a student and encourage the child to develop his or her strengths and capabilities. The mentor is described as:
- A role model.
- A friend.
- A guide.
- A listener.
- A motivator.
- An advocate.
What does a mentor do?
A mentor helps connect children and youth with resources, safe places, and structured activities. Mentors provide a positive role model, assistance in obtaining a marketable skill through support of education, and an opportunity to give back through community service.
All of the following are important activities that mentors provide in the lives of their students:
Academic Support-Encouraging academic success by showing the benefits of staying in school and evaluating educational choices.
Role Modeling-Helping students see and strive for broader horizons and possibilities than they may see in their present environments.
Attention and Support-Mentors provide dependable and consistent attention and support through listening, guiding, and encouraging students to reach their full potential.
Who needs mentors?
All children can benefit from positive role models.
Why is being a mentor important?
Young people look for someone to listen and support them. Things that may seem easy to you are often mysterious to young people. Providing guidance and structure to a young person allows them an opportunity to develop self-esteem and self-confidence.
Mentoring can have a tremendous impact on a young person’s life. In fact, young people who were at risk for falling off track but had a mentor were:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
Data from Mentoring.org (2018)
To learn more about the power of mentoring please take a moment to watch this video (3 minutes).
When does mentoring occur?
Mentoring occurs at the students’ school site during the school day. Typically, mentors meet with students every week for 30 minutes. MentorWorks asks that mentors make a one-year commitment to mentoring a student.
Which schools participate in mentoring programs?
A majority of schools in FCPS provide one-to-one or group mentoring services during the school day.
Interested in getting a mentor for your child?
FCPS mentoring programs occur at the students’ school site during the school day.Mentoring programs are coordinated at the school level.
Interested in mentoring a student?
Thank you for your interest in becoming a mentor. You are taking the first step toward making a difference in the life of a deserving child or adolescent.
Whether you are an experienced or novice mentor, FCPS staff members provide continual guidance and support to all mentors. Please note that anyone offering to mentor or volunteer must comply with Fairfax County Public Schools background checks.
How much time is required to be a mentor?
The time commitment can vary depending upon the program that you become involved with, however, it is highly recommended that a mentor and mentee meet on a weekly basis for one hour, lasting at least nine months to a year. This time commitment provides the opportunity for a positive consistent relationship to develop.
Becoming a mentor
Register for a mentoring training session via the Mentoring Onboarding Process form. For more information, please contact Martha Macdonald, Conflict Resolution and Mentoring Specialist, 571-423-4273. A FCPS background screening is required and you must be available to meet with your student at their school during the school day.
Additional Information for Community Business Partners and Mentors
MentorWorks for Community Business Partners
Frequently Asked Questions from our Community Business Partners
MentorWorks Onboarding Process
Mentors are valuable assets to our schools and communities. Quality mentoring programs have been shown to impact students socially, emotionally, and academically, thus creating safer, healthier, more productive citizens in our society.