Southwest Key Programs

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Youth Mentoring Program

Johnny and Jerome

The Multi-state Southwest Key Youth Mentoring Program is part of a continuum of care for system-involved youth ages 10-17 in Atlanta, Austin, Buffalo, Milwaukee and San Jose. The goal of the program is to establish and support mentoring relationships that have a long-lasting, positive impact on both the youth and the adult. Ultimately, this program aspires to reduce juvenile delinquency and criminal activity, improve academic performance and reduce dropout rates for program participants.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please fill out the Volunteer Application.

We will get back to you as soon as we can. If you would like additional information, submit your questions and comments here. Thank you!

Criteria for Mentors:

Southwest Key Programs works with community partners to recruit a culturally diverse population of committed mentors. Our organization utilizes our extensive community network to recruit mentors from within the youth’s surrounding community reaching out to extended family, neighbors, teachers, coaches, religious and community leaders and employers.

Mentors commit to serve as role models for their assigned mentee for a minimum of one year, providing support, encouragement and pro-social lifestyle development opportunities. They act as a resource and confidant to youth when personal and education problems occur and may coordinate meetings with Southwest Key staff and parents, teachers, and other natural supports. Mentors also provide transportation for mentees to and from mentoring activities, as needed.

All volunteer mentors undergo a thorough screening including a written or online application, in-person interviews, and extensive reference and criminal background checks. Upon successful recruitment, each mentor receives eight hours of orientation training and quarterly enhancement trainings throughout the year. Social brown bag lunches are coordinated periodically to provide a venue for mentors to exchange ideas, access peer support and for staff to provide technical assistance.

In The Media

Southwest Key Mentorship Program Receives Much Needed Grant

Austin American Statesman
Youth Mentoring Program Receives $1 Million Grant 

Atlanta Daily World
Atlanta Mentorship Program Receives Much Needed Grant 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 
Op-ed: Mentor A Kid

Gabriel and Miguel

Denise & Katie