Mentoring

The Mentor is matched with the student during the Residential Phase by week 13. This way the student and Mentor can begin building their trust and comfort zone with one another. Also this makes for an excellent opportunity for the Mentors' to participate in the Cadets' Commencement Ceremony as they graduate from the Residential Phase.

In the Montana Youth ChalleNGe Academy our Mentors are considered one of the most important parts of this Academy. We rely on you to be a trusted friend, confidant, and support system to our ChalleNGe graduates. These youth need someone they can rely on in order to pursue their Placement Plans that they create and set for themselves while in the Residential portion of MYCA. This someone is their Mentor.

Class 37 Mentors, please make sure to contact Post-Residential Coordinator Michelle Nelon to confirm your training date. You can call her direct at 406-683-7512 or email her at michelle.nelon@mt.gov. Training is scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2017, or Saturday, September 23, 2017.

Download a Mentor Application

The following is the criteria to be used in selecting your prospective Mentors for the 14 Month Post-Residential Program:

  • Mentors should be of the same gender as the Candidate; however cross gender mentors may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Mentors must be at least 21 years old.
  • Mentors should live 30 - 60 minutes from where the Cadet will live after completing the Residential Phase of the program, when possible.
  • Mentors may not be a member of the immediate family (parents, significant other of parents, siblings, or members of the same household may not be mentors). Mentors may be aunts, uncles, or grandparents.
  • Mentors must consent to a criminal history background check.
  • A person convicted of a felony may be eligible to be a mentor, depending on the offense and how much time has passed since the fault was committed.  These situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Mentors must stay in weekly contact with cadet for 14 months.
  • Mentors must be able to attend a 1 day mentor training session, held in Dillon at the program site.
  • Mentors must send in a monthly report that recaps contacts between them and the cadet and verifies placement of the cadet.
  • Mentors must be willing to correspond with the cadet while in the Residential phase by writing letters of encouragement

Does this sound like you or someone you know? If so, then keep reading...

There are some specific things that we ask of you as a Mentor for MYCA. They aren't difficult or even impossible to do. It is the positive growth of your Mentor/Cadet relationship that you report to us that make the Montana Youth ChalleNGe Academy a success.

As a Mentor for MYCA you are required to do the following:

  • Report to Post Residential Department
  • Commit to spending at least 14 months in consistent contact with a Cadet. (Letter-writing and phone calls during the Residential Phase)
  • Return completed screening materials promptly
  • Spend a day at the program site for training and participating in activities with the Cadet
  • Assist the Cadet with the Post Residential Action Plan development and discuss his or her progress in the PRAP.
  • Make 4 monthly contacts witht he Cadet by phone, mail, or in person during the Post Residential Phase. At least two of these must be face to face during the Post-Residential Phase, when possible.
  • Observe all Academy policies and guidelines for mentors.  Discusseviolations of policies by Cadets with the Case Manager/Mentor Coordinator.
  • Refer the Cadet to community resources as needed and helps the Cadet obtain those resources.
  • Participate in a community service project with the Cadet before graduation (if required for that Class).
  • Visit Cadet at ChalleNGe site during Residential phase, only if able.
  • Share occasional informal and fun activities with his or her Cadet.  The Mentor and Cadet will jointly select and schedule the activities.
  • Communicate at least monthly by phone and mail with the Case Manager/Mentor Coordinator.  The mentor promptly informs the Coordinator of problems or needs in the Cadet’s life or in their relationship.

If interested, fill out the mentor application link above. If you have any questions, please call 1-877-367-6927 or if you have any questions regarding the mentoring program, please contact Michelle Nelon at 406-683-7512 or via e-mail at michelle.nelon@mt.gov.