Must you be a Christian to mentor?
One Heart is is not a Christian affiliated organization, therefore mentors are not required to be Christian.
Can you mentor if you have a prior conviction?
Mentors with a criminal background will be evaluated based on their unique circumstances, charge, conviction, age during conviction, and time elapsed since probation was completed. All mentors are required to complete a background check and will be screened based on McLennan County standards.
Who is choosing the youth? What is their criminal history like?
Youth will be chosen by both One Heart and the McLennan County Chief Probation Officers. The youth selected will not be those who have been charged with more aggravated crimes such as sex offences, crimes involving a weapon, crimes involving intense violence, or those with significant mental health needs, etc. Rather, youth chosen will have been charged with misdemeanor crimes like possession of marijuana, school fighting, burglary, etc. These youth will be categorized as low to moderate risk or need as assessed by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) and their Risk and Needs Assessment (RANA). You can learn more about RANA at https://bit.ly/2oVE935.
What school do they come from?
It is currently not known what school district the 10 adolescents will come from, or if they are even enrolled in school (ages 17+ can legally drop out in TX). Youth will be selected strategically based on their location in the Waco city limits, so that they are able to attend training and mentor sessions via public transportation if necessary. Therefore, it is likely that students will come from the Waco ISD district (University High School, Waco High).
Will I be responsible for picking up and dropping off my mentee?
Anyone under 21 cannot transport youth. Additionally, anyone under 21 must be supervised when visiting with an adolescent. Youth will be chosen from within the Waco city limits so that access to public transportation should be attainable, therefore no student mentor should be responsible for picking up or dropping off their mentee. Adolescents will most likely be brought to the Doris Miller YMCA (or other public location) for social and emotional skills training and mentorship. Therefore, a member of the One Heart team will be present at the YMCA to supervise mentorship, especially for those mentors under the age of 21. To be a mentor you need to be able to get to the YMCA and back through your own transportation or carpooling with another mentor. Anyone under the age of 21 should not be alone with an adolescent at any time.
Is mentorship court-mandated or voluntary for the adolescents?
Both. The adolescents have not yet been selected and it is possible that some will be mandated to participate in the program by their Probation Officer while others will volunteer.
Can I meet with/mentor the youth for more than one hour a week?
Yes. However, if the mentor is under 21 they must ensure that they are being supervised by someone over the age of 21.
How much money should I spend, if any?
The quality of the time you invest is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we actually don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your mentee. The goal of the relationship is to help your mentee see the world through a different lens so you can inspire them to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost food or activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. In the future, we are hoping to offer free group activities such as attendance to a Baylor sports event or other group trip.