Community for Youth (CfY) inspires and supports students to be their best selves through mentoring, learning experiences, and a powerful community.
What We Do:
CfY connects Seattle high school students with compatible mentors for a program lasting one academic year (September - June). In addition to one-on-one meetings, our students and mentors meet monthly in small groups of seven to eight pairs (known as Family Groups), and in large groups of up to 30 pairs (known as Learning Communities), for directed workshops that help our students build confidence, determination, and self-awareness.
CfY also provides mentors with a comprehensive support system, including monthly mentor-only workshops that give our mentors the tools they need to succeed. Mentoring pairs are also supported and monitored through match support calls conducted by CfY program staff.
How We Go Above and Beyond:
CfY programming evolves and adapts to meet the dynamic needs of our students in a rapidly-changing world. We serve our students by stepping past traditional one-to-one mentoring models in the following ways:
- CfY asks our mentors to practice critical mentoring. Critical mentoring prioritizes activism and resistance to racism and oppression. Through critical mentoring, we hope to address inequities and make impactful social change by leveraging the mentoring relationship and powerful community we co-create with our students and mentors.
- We provide our students with the opportunity to meet both one-on-one and in larger groups to cultivate relationships and bonds not only within mentoring pairs, but within a larger community of people with similar interests and experiences.
- We center youth voices when planning and implementing our programming. We want to serve and connect with our students in ways that are meaningful to them, so we empower our students to lead activities and conversations, and help us plan our monthly Community Workshops. We regularly collect student feedback through surveys, match support calls, and our LeaderCorps program. LeaderCorps provides an opportunity for a select group of interested students to take the lead when planning programming.
- We provide fun and engaging activities for our students and mentors outside of normal meetings. Students and mentors have enjoyed activities such as snow-shoeing, beach bonfires, and Seattle Underground tours guided by CfY staff. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in The Alchemy Project, an annual, two-day workshop in which students are invited to work on and pitch business and project ideas in front of a panel of professionals, with one winning team being selected at the conclusion of the workshop.