Become a Senior Partner
"I want to share something that Haylie said to me this past Wednesday. I had been asking her what she would like for Christmas. She has never had an answer. When I asked her again she replied, "I have what I want for Christmas, Denise; you are my Christmas". Now, that was the sweetest thing I've ever heard. I told her the feeling was mutual and I love having her as one of my best pals." [from an email received from a Senior Partner mentor]
You have made the first step to becoming a caring friend in a young person’s life. Now volunteer to be a Senior Partner!
Senior Partner volunteers must have a desire to spend fun-filled and care-free time with children in need of a special friend and must be fully committed to the needs of their Junior Partners and youth mentoring in general. Senior Partners in our PALS community program commit to meet with their Junior Partner for approximately two hours a week, or six to eight hours a month for one year. If you are away for part of the year, we ask that you keep in regular contact with your Junior Partner by phone, letter and or email. Our Let’s Do Lunch program requires one hour a week for the duration of the school year.
In addition, the following are required in order for our program to create and sustain lasting relationships.
Senior Partners must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be available to meet consistently each week with your Junior Partner for an initial commitment of one year. If unable to meet, maintaining regular contact is essential.
- Demonstrate patience, flexibility and tolerance.
- Engage in attentive listening and honest, open communication.
- Be open to trying new things and learning from your Junior Partner.
- Be able to drive to pick up and drop off your Junior Partner from his/her home each week (PALS). If you drive, you must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. Child safety restraints per the Vermont state law are required. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license and insurance card on a yearly basis.
- At all times exemplify positive, healthy lifestyles to your Junior Partners.
Here’s How to Get Started
2. Next, submit a completed application form.
On the Program Forms page, you will find additional information about mentoring.
Ensuring the Safety of the Children
In order to ensure the safety of the children in our program, we will conduct a thorough screening of all applicants, including a check of references, an interview, state and FBI criminal background checks along with state and federal sex offender registries. All mentors must be finger printed. PALS mentors undergo a Department of Motor Vehicle check as well.
Supporting Our Partnerships
As our staff fully approves each Senior Partner applicant, they also take great care to custom match each volunteer with a Junior Partner who lives nearby and shares similar interests and a compatible personality.
To ensure the success of a Partnership, WCP provides individualized support, including pre-match training to all Senior Partners.
WCP also regularly sponsors workshops and presentations geared towards issues involved in youth mentoring. WCP recognizes that each Partnership is unique and prides itself in the customized attention it offers to each Senior and Junior Partner.
Although the Partnership is a one-year commitment, many of our Partnerships renew for many more happy and positive years!
Want to Know What to Do?
Do you want to see how easy it is to come up with ideas of things to do with your new young friend? We offer a list of simple activities and ideas of things to do with your Junior Partner.