Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the Questions We Get From Potential Mentors, Mentees, Parents and Guardians.

Our vision is be recognized as an unrivaled mentoring organization with a unique competency that allows it to gain access into difficult communities and work effectively with its most at-risk and vulnerable youth. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What do I have to do to become a mentor?

Four easy steps: 1. Attend the VIP mentor training session of your choice. 2) Complete an application and background check forms. 3) Complete a staff interview at the VIP office. 4) Meet the child to whom you will be matched and his or her caregiver.

What is the time commitment a mentor makes?

Mentors matched in our traditional Community-Based matches commit to meeting with their mentee for a minimum of two hours a week for a twelve month period. Mentors matched in Location-Specific matches commit to meeting with their mentee for one hour per week for a twelve month period.

I don’t live in Wayne County; can I still become a mentor?

Yes, many VIP mentors live in counties outside Wayne

Where do the children live?

Many of our currently matched children reside in Wayne County but there are some in other counties such as Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw.

If I’m interested in Wayne County, can I select an area in the county where I'd prefer the child reside?

Yes that is a possibility. Most people choose a mentee who lives in close proximity to where they live or work. Some flexibility within the selected geographic area may be requested in order to avoid a long wait time for our mentors and/or mentees.

After I apply, how long does it take to be matched with a child?

If all of the paperwork is completed and returned at the close of your orientation/training session and there are no prohibitive restrictions relating to the child’s residency, an individual could be matched in as little as four weeks; however it often takes a few weeks longer if reference letters are not returned to VIP immediately. You can help move the process forward by contacting all of your references in advance and encouraging them to forward the information to the VIP office as soon as they receive the request for information.

Where is the VIP Mentoring office located?

VIP is located at 7700 Second, Suite 617, Detroit 48202. This in Detroit’s New Center area.

Is there a lot of paperwork and forms for me to fill out?

A mentor initially completes a short application which includes a Pre-interview Questionnaire.

I don’t live in Wayne County; can I still become a mentor?

Yes, many VIP mentors live in counties outside Wayne.

Does VIP complete a background check on mentor applicants?

Yes, all prospective mentors will be screened and a local, state and national check will be conducted.

How often is mentor Orientation & Training offered?

The schedule for training is based on demand.  Most persons who are interested in attending are accommodated within 2-3 weeks of their request.

How long is mentor Orientation & Training?

Training lasts between 2 ½ and 3 hours.

Can I attend Orientation & Training before I commit to becoming a mentor?

Yes, there is no commitment required to attend training After training, each potential mentor is given the opportunity to move forward in the program, if it is appropriate for them.

What is VIP mentor Orientation & Training?

Orientation & Training is conducted as two parts in one session. Part one, or orientation, gives the mentor an overview of the program, its goal and the mechanics of how it works. Part two of the session, or training, prepares the mentor to interact effectively with the mentee and parent/guardian. A prospective mentor must complete both parts before being matched.

Where does VIP get the children to be mentored?

Referrals are made from community agencies, juvenile court, school personnel, churches, police and parents/ guardians. Some youth are referred to VIP Mentoring not because they have broken a law, but because they are having difficulty adjusting to a major change in their lives.

What is the gender of the children?

VIP matches both boys and girls?

What will the child and I do together?

Mentors arrange a time and pick up their child at the child’s home. Activities are pre-planned by the mentor. VIP has many suggestions for activities and a VIP Match Specialist can assist you in choosing age appropriate activities.

Does VIP offer activities to the mentor & child?

Most of the weekly activities are planned by the mentor.  However VIP does on occasion host events that mentors and mentees can attend.

Who pays for activities, gas, etc.?

VIP planned activities are usually paid for by corporate donors, however, the normal weekly activities are paid for by the mentor. Mileage to and from these activities is generally tax deductible.

What happens after the 12-month match is over?

The 12-month commitment will go by very quickly. At that time you and your match will be guided in an evaluation and planning process, conducted by the match specialist assigned to you. Many of our mentors ask to continue in the program. The match specialist can extend the match for an additional year. Others mentors will complete the twelve month program and will be guided through a closure procedure.  This process helps to ensure a positive and successful experience for both the mentor and mentee.

Students from Denby High School – participants in our location-based mentoring program – attend a tour of Michigan State University to help their decision-making as they prepare for college

VIP Mentoring

Did you know that VIP Mentoring creates high quality mentoring relationships for youth whose circumstances or risk factors reduce their potential to transition to a productive adulthood? We are making a difference and we hope you can too.