What is Mentoring?
A FOCUS mentor is 25 years of age or older and willing to provide guidance in life skills and decision making while holding a nonjudgmental perspective. The mentor is not a therapist or a clinician or even a problem solver; they are simply a positive relationship for the client. The mentor reflects with and discusses life with the client in a way that is empowering and future focused.
Volunteers should be prepared to make a commitment of at least one year. The mentoring relationship may last for a longer or shorter period depending on the client’s needs. Participation for both the mentor and client is voluntary, it may be ended at any point if either the client, mentor or both decide that termination is appropriate.
The mentor will spend 2-3 hours per week with the client. More time will be needed during the immediate post-release period and around special life events: court hearings, birthdays and graduations.
Volunteers receive 17 hours of preliminary training before mentoring. Topics covered include Motivational Interviewing, FOCUS guidelines and basic mental health and substance abuse training. An orientation at the Boulder County Jail is required and includes a background check. Mentors will also be expected to regularly attend ongoing training opportunities throughout the year.
Extensive support is provided to mentors. FOCUS staff and the therapists and criminal justice professionals associated with the program are also available for one on one discussion. Staff will initiate contact with mentors regularly just to check in.
If you are interested in becoming a FOCUS Mentor, please complete the application below (PDF or Word document available) and either email to us at email@example.com or print, complete, and mail to us at:
3700 Baseline Road
Boulder, CO 80303
View the Mentor / FOCUS Contract.