You can make a difference.

You may have heard the mantra “it takes a village to raise a child”. At Say Yes Cleveland, nurturing a strong network (or village) of mentors to help prepare our students for success in their K-12 education and beyond is one of our core commitments. Become a part of our citywide village of caring adults working with a K-12 or college student!

Mentors are key to college success

Why mentor?

Community support for students is essential – and a requirement. All students receiving a scholarship must work with an adult mentor. The impact of college mentoring is huge: in the first three years of the mentoring program, student retention rates rose to an amazing 97%. The college completion rate of College Now scholarship recipients is approaching 80%. Mentors truly matter.

Becoming a mentor is easier than you think!

In the first two years of the relationship, mentors provide crucial college-going advice to students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. As students become upperclassmen and begin looking beyond college, mentors also provide professional connections and assistance to help students transition into the working world.

  • The Say Yes Cleveland mentor program uses a unique, online platform to guide communication between mentor and mentee with an interactive and personalized curriculum.

  • As the program develops, a few events are expected to be hosted throughout the year to bring mentor-mentee pairs together and also to create space for mentors and mentees to learn from one another.

  • We ask mentors to commit to a mentor-mentee relationship during the student’s post-secondary academic career. Mentors and mentees exchange messages twice per month and meet in person three times per year.

The five steps toward becoming a mentor.

Here is what it takes to become a steady guide for one of Cleveland’s emerging young scholars:

  • Hold a college degree

  • Complete an application and screening process

  • Complete a five-minute phone interview

  • Attend a one-hour orientation

  • Pass a third-party background check

Ready to become a mentor?

Once your application is submitted you will receive a confirmation email, and you will be contacted to set up a five-minute phone interview with one of our partners at College Now.


“Being a mentor really is about establishing a relationship with your student. You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to be a teacher or have a teaching degree. Being a mentor is really about sharing your experiences as a former college student. Being a mentor is not really prescriptive or officious. But now, my mentee tells me about things that I said that have really impacted her, and I don’t even remember. It was just in the flow of our conversation – the flow of our relationship.”

Ann Gynn


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