Frequently Asked Questions About Mentorship
Where does the mentoring take place?
Most of our mentorship takes place at the boys’ schools. We are in schools across Tucson (click here for more details about which schools). We also do monthly Adventure Outings to various places across Tucson on the weekends, and twice a year we facilitate a Rite of Passage Weekend for young men.
What is the required time commitment for mentoring?
Becoming a School-Based Mentor requires about 1.5 hours a week for roughly 30 weeks (one school year). However, for men who can’t sit in a school mentorship circle, our weekend events are available throughout the year.
What types of mentoring does the program offer?
At Boys to Men Tucson, we focus on group mentorship. Our work is to cultivate strong intergenerational communities, so we always bring together groups of boys and men from diverse backgrounds. Group mentorship happens in our weekly sharing circles at the schools, and it also happens when we take off to hike a mountain together (see our page for men who are considering getting involved). Because we use a group mentoring model, you are never alone. There are always other men there for help, support, and camaraderie.
How does the program work?
Our program functions at a few levels. First, in our school circles, the same group of men and boys come together every week for the entire school year. With some basic, consensual agreements, we begin to build a strong container of trust, and everybody in the circle learns that it is a safe place to share things that you wouldn’t normally share with people. It is a space where boys can work through their own struggles, ask for help, and be honest about how they are feeling. As the trust with one another grows, boys find that this space really helps them to focus who they are and what they want in their lives.
Second, we know that when we bring groups of trained male mentors together with young men, that we are stepping into a natural order for intergenerational support. Whether it is the weekly School-based circles, or the Adventure Outings, or the Rite of Passage Weekends, creating spaces where boys and men can be with one another is how we cultivate intergenerational communities of healthy manhood.
What kind of initial training and on-going training and support does the program offer?
After being screened and background checked, mentors attend a one-day training that focuses on the experience of teenaged boys, as well as circle facilitation skills. In addition to the initial training that all mentors attend, we also provided additional support, education, and leadership development opportunities.
What materials can I expect to receive to assist me in my mentoring?
All mentors receive a comprehensive mentorship binder loaded with resources and support.
What happens if I am no longer able to mentor?
Mentors come and go according to the seasons of their lives and availability. We do ask that men commit to being in their school circle for the whole year, but beyond that there are no permanent commitments. Most men find themselves coming back because the time spent with the group meets their own needs as well.
How long can I expect between when I actually sign up and complete the application process and I am matched with a youth?
We offer our mentor trainings usually at the start of the fall and the start of the spring semesters. With enough interest, though, we will host one, anytime. Once a man attends the training, he is welcome to sit in a school circle immediately, according to his availability. All mentors are welcome to our monthly Adventure Outings.
How is the program evaluated to measure expected outcomes?
We have a few measurement procedures. First, we do a self-assessment with the boys at the beginning and end of the year. (They overwhelmingly can identify and appreciate how they have grown from their year sitting in a mentorship circle.)
We also do participant surveys that allow us to see how the boys are ranking our services.
Finally, we are working with the University of Arizona to replicate a comprehensive Case Study on this work that was originally piloted in San Diego 10 years ago (click here for more).