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Applicants to the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy cannot be accepted until they have at least one, preferably two mentors.
Having a mentor is a program requirement.
Mentor Eligibility Requirements
Mentors must be:
• At least 21 years of age
• Not an immediate family member, or anyone who lives in the same household or who is a love interest of either parent/guardian
• Same gender as the young adult
• Live within 50 miles or less of the young adult
• Able to pass a background check
A mentor serves as a role model, advisor, friend and positive example. If a young adult has asked you to be their MYCA mentor, it means they identified you as someone they trust and can rely upon. You are being asked to help support them on their journey through the MYCA program. Before committing, it is important to understand the commitment involved. You will be asked to:
• Submit a mentor application, providing all requested information. The mentee will provide you with the application. MYCA staff will review the completed application, conduct the required background check and contact you for a brief phone interview.
• Take part in a mandatory training session. This may be in-person or virtual and will be offered a variety of times.
• Maintain regular contact with your mentee while they are with us residentially (5.5 months), primarily via letter. Mentors are invited to attend any scheduled visitations.
• Continue weekly contact for the 12 months following graduation from the program. You are asked to provide a minimum of four hours to your youth each month. During this time, the graduate will be implementing their post-residential action plan (P-RAP). You will help them to steer around obstacles, cheer them on, and serve as a neutral support person.
• Provide graduate’s case manager one short report via email each month to let us know how the youth is doing. The case manager is also available to support you in your role as mentor.
IF YOU CANNOT MEET THESE EXPECTATIONS, PLEASE DO NOT APPLY. After graduation is when your mentee needs you most, and your time investment is critical as they transition back home (or to whatever is next) and keep their momentum going.