Youth Mentoring Program

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***PLEASE NOTE The Washington County Juvenile Department requires that all volunteers, mentors, and interns be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. 

Milt Ewing, Manager (503) 846-3579

Jennifer Yonker, Volunteer Program Coordinator (503) 846-8775

Sara Dockter, Mentoring Program Coordinator (503) 747-9019

Supervision, Training and Employment Programs (STEP) have been developed to serve and enrich the lives of at-risk youth while providing opportunities for volunteer service and career exploration for community members.

The Washington County Juvenile Department provides youth with the opportunity to partner with a mentor who is either a college level intern or a volunteer from the community. Youth must have an open referral with the Washington County Juvenile Department to qualify. Matches are made based on similar personalities, mutual interests, and cultural or language needs, as well as geographic proximity. 

As a volunteer or intern mentors will gain hands-on experience working with an at –risk youth while having the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a young person. In addition to acting as a mentor to at-risk youth, volunteers and interns will have the opportunity to learn other aspects of the Juvenile Department depending on interest.

Mentor Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 20 years of age
  • Be willing to adhere to all Mentoring Program policies and procedures
  • Agree to a six month commitment to the program.
  • Commit to spending a minimum of eight hours a month with the mentee
  • Be willing to communicate with the mentee weekly
  • Complete and pass the screening procedure to include background check and fingerprinting
  • Agree to attend mentor training's as required
  • Be willing to communicate regularly with the program coordinator and submit monthly meeting and activity information
  • Have access to a vehicle or reliable transportation
  • Have a current driver's license, auto insurance, and good driving record
    • Unacceptable Driving History:
    • 1. Conviction of 1 or more major traffic offenses during the past 5 years:
      • Driving While Under the Influence
      • Hit and Run
      • Reckless Driving
      • Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer
      • Vehicular Manslaughter or Vehicular Assault
      • Driving While Canceled, Suspended, or Revoked (if the conviction is due to failure to complete DMV paperwork this will be counted as one traffic violation).
    • 2. Any combination of 4 or more at-fault accidents and/or convictions for traffic violations in the past 2 years.
    • 3. Any combination of 3 or more at-fault accidents or convictions for traffic violations in the past year.
    • 4. A driving record that shows a pattern of offenses. 
  • No misdemeanor convictions in the last 5 years
  • Have never been accused, arrested, charged, or convicted of child abuse, molestation, or domestic violence.
  • No felony convictions or misdemeanor violence convictions in the last 10 years with demonstrated good behavior and an appropriate and corrective attitude regarding past behaviors
  • Not be a user of illicit drugs
  • Not use alcohol or controlled substances in an excessive or inappropriate manner
  • Not be currently in treatment for substance abuse. If a substance abuse problem has occurred in the past the applicant must have completed a non-addictive period of at least five years
  • Not currently be under treatment for a mental disorder or have been hospitalized for a mental disorder in the past three years
  • Not have falsified information during the course of the screening process

How do I get a mentor?

If you are interested in being partnered with a mentor, talk to your Juvenile Counselor and request an application. The application process is simple, but parental/guardian approval is required. Parents need to sign the waiver form and return it to the Juvenile Counselor. 


What to Expect

A mentor is a person assigned specifically to a youth to assist them in reaching personal goals, such as academic success, obtaining employment, and developing social skills. They will participate in fun, pro-social activities with youth as well as volunteer work in the community. Activities will be based on youth interest.  Mentors will meet with youth for a minimum of 8 hours per month for a minimum of six months.