Mentoring Program

While a student’s greatest obstacle getting to college may be monetary, once at college, the new academic, social, and cultural environment can be a challenge. The guidance of a mentor—a college graduate with perspective and life experience—makes a big difference in student success and career readiness.

“It is a fantastic feeling to have hundreds of individuals believe in you enough to support your education. They have made my life better and given me the motivation to achieve my goals.”

David Martinez, Class of ’09

The Role of a Mentor

The mentor is an adult volunteer who helps their mentee navigate through and graduate from college, ready for career or further education. You’re mentor material if you are

  • Able to help a student identify and work toward goals
  • Can guide a student through finding their own solutions and making their own decisions
  • Sensitive to students from educational, economic, cultural, and/or racial backgrounds different from your own
  • Committed to working with your mentee at least 1st through sophomore year
  • A college graduate.

Our goal is that all mentees have guidance overcoming any personal, cultural, and academic challenges that hinder getting the most from their college experience, and that over time, their self-esteem, confidence, and sense of agency are strengthened as they work toward graduation.

Before matching mentors and mentees, prospective mentors complete a detailed application, a training session, and pass a background check. Our expectation is that mentors and mentees will have meaningful contact at least twice each month, one in real time, by text, email, virtual, telephone, or in person. 

We have the most need to mentor incoming college 1st years, so the best time of year to apply is before June 1. In this way, you can complete the checks and training in time for the Mentor-Mentee Meet in early August. Contact Allison Kelsey, Scholars Program Manager, for more information and an application.

Mentor a Philadelphia Scholar!

Mentors receive initial training from PEF staff and ongoing support.