As we kick off 2024, some 235 youth and young adults ages 13 to 25 in four Civic Heart programs need to be matched with a responsible adult mentor.

It’s a tall order.

But January is Mentor Appreciation Month, so our recruiting is underway. After all, tall orders are our specialty.

There are two ways you can participate, this month and throughout the year. The need is ever present.

First, you can help identify people who you think would make good mentors and introduce them to us at If you or someone you know might be willing to serve as a 4-hour-a-month mentor to a young person who needs to be seen and heard by an adult who looks like them, and can relate to their life circumstances, we would be ever-grateful to facilitate that possibility.

Second, you can participate in our Mentor in Minutes initiative by writing a letter of mentorship we can share with a young person awaiting a mentor match.

When you think about who you might ask to join you to Mentor in Minutes, consider people who:

    • Are responsible adults, especially adults 21+ years old
    • Represent diverse cultures and life experiences, such as:

African American

Spanish-speaking, myriad ethnicities

Low-income background

Achieved self-sustainability, self-respect

Have lived the migrant, refugee life journey, especially those who might speak Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Swahili and Somali

May have struggled as a youth with substances, abuse, law enforcement involvement, parental absence, violence

May have grown up in marginalized community, especially in a neighborhood in Civic Heart’s service areas such as Third Ward, Fifth Ward

May have successfully reared now-adult children

May have been justice-involved and can serve as a crucial credible messenger about what life can be after incarceration, while on parole, etc.

    • May be local thought leaders and influencers able to inspire potential mentors in their faith, professional, charitable or social circles

In this video, Civic Heart volunteer mentor Alan Bernstein shares his experience working with a young refugee adjusting to his new life in a new country.

Will you take just a bit of time to share your life experience and wisdom with a young person in our community, and help empower them to create a productive life well lived?