“It is extremely empowering to impact a student’s life by mentoring at Computers4Kids. What makes mentoring appealing is that once you become involved, the involvement becomes addictive – you crave increased participation and learning. Mastering new software is only a small portion of the benefits derived. I learned to communicate with young people, and I learned to understand their niche in this challenging world. The most rewarding experience was witnessing my first mentee watch the final version of his movie project. He had a smile on his face large enough to have saved the world from sadness for a just a moment. He was so proud! At graduation his entire family was proud for and of him, extremely appreciative of my mentoring efforts, and the support of C4K staff.
We are all mentors in some way – we are parents, uncles, aunts, big brothers, big sisters, upperclassmen in school and friends. C4K invites you to extend your mentoring sphere to include their youth.” – Vince Dish, C4K Mentor
C4K Mentors are trusted guides that help youth learn valuable life and digital skills. Mentors also set a positive example and become a friend to the young person with whom they regularly meet. Successful mentors are open and willing to follow youth interests and to learn new skills with their mentees.
After attending a 2-hour Mentor Orientation session, mentors will be matched with one of our youth members. Members are in middle or high school. Mentors make a commitment to meet with their mentees once per week to work on projects that the pair chooses together. Mentors may also participate in ongoing C4K-sponsored training and events such as workshops to learn skills and software, and showcases to show off work made at C4K.
Of course! You don’t have to be a programmer or Web developer to be a C4K Mentor. If you are comfortable using the Internet and Microsoft applications and can navigate around a Windows or Mac computer, you can be a successful mentor. Your positive attitude, desire to work with youth, and interest in learning new skills alongside your mentee will be your keys to success as a mentor.
Mentors must attend a 2-hour orientation. In addition, mentors meet with their mentee for one hour per week for a total of 36 hours (for community members) or one and a half hours per week for one academic year (for UVA students who leave for the summer). After orientation and before being matched, mentors are invited to visit our Clubhouse a couple times (about an hour each week) to get to know our members and to see the exciting activities going on at C4K.
All mentoring takes place in our Studio, located at 945 Second Street SE, off Elliott Avenue, in the IX building.
Absolutely! Research has shown that young people benefit from mentoring. As a C4K Mentor, you will bring positive, permanent change to a young person in our community. Mentors can feel good knowing that the life and digital skills their mentees learn will positively impact their future successes in school, higher education, career, and community. As a bonus, mentors have a wonderful opportunity to develop a positive, caring relationship with a young person and to learn new skills themselves.