Our Mentors & Mentees
Our mentors are men and women who live in King County and volunteer their time in an effort to make a positive difference in a young person’s life.
All of our mentors are ages 21 and older and are screened through a Washington State Patrol background check. They are gender-matched to a same-gender youth.
Mentors commit to a minimum one-year of service to the program and to their youth. The mentor must attend one, eight-hour day of training before being matched with a youth. After that, they attend ongoing bi-monthly training. Our mentors stay in contact with their mentee weekly, doing things like talking by phone, taking a walk, having dinner together, attending a sporting event, or working on school work.
The youth we serve desire and deserve the opportunity to attend safe schools, eat healthy food, and live in a community that cares and protects them. Over the past 15 years, The 4C Mentoring Program has continued to fulfill our commitment to at-risk youth of color, proving to be a powerful force for change.
Our Mentoring Programs is open to youths of color who are on probation and have been assessed as moderate or high-risk to reoffend. They must be a minimum of four to six months from completing probation.
An at-risk youth is defined as a child under the age of 18 who meets at least one of the following three requirements:
- Is absent from home for at least 72 consecutive hours without parental consent; or
- Is beyond parental control such that his/her behavior endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person; or
- Has a substance abuse problem for which there are no pending criminal charges relating to the substance abuse.
Do You Need Help Now?
Please contact the 4C Coalition at 206-568-0391 to speak to a staff member, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of our mentees, Savannah, was the valedictorian for the 2015 graduation class at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle. She has been mentored by Meghan Arbuckle since she was a 16 year old high school sophomore. Savannah is planning on going to college and we at the 4C Coalition are helping her navigate the college application process.
Two years ago Savannah traveled with Seattle’s 4C Coalition to Washington DC for the 50th anniversary March on Washington Memorial Youth Mentoring Summit. As if that participation wasn’t enough to do Seattle proud, Savannah then did one better and won first place in the “Spell it Like it Is” Spelling contest.
About the Washington DC experience, Savannah said, “I felt honored to be able to walk the same streets as people I look up to as heroes, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, former presidents, and congressmen and women.”
“Also, being in Washington, D.C. gave me a new perspective on life because I saw that even though we’re so far apart, Washington, D.C. and Seattle are more similar than different. For example, Washington, D.C. having the history it has, I was surprised to learn that it has just as much poverty as Seattle.”
Savannah also participated in 4C’s Coalition’s Pen or Pencil group mentoring program that focuses on connecting young people with the educational system (the pencil) to head towards success and keep them out of “the pen.”
Meet Mentor, Ahmed Stewart
“My goal was to broaden their horizons.”
“I wanted to be a mentor because young black males need to have role models that look like themselves,” says Ahmed Stewart. And, with my Caribbean background, I could show them a different mindset.”
A few years ago, Ahmed Stewart attended a volunteer fair sponsored by the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals (SULYP). At the fair, he visited the 4C booth and decided to become a mentor.
“My goal as a mentor was to try to make somebody see things in a way they were not accustomed to … and broaden their horizons,” says Ahmed. Ahmed was matched with a 14-year-old African American boy. They were both science-minded and shared other common interests.
“We saw each other at least twice a month for over two years. We went to movies, met for breakfast, visited museums, and all kinds of stuff,” recalls Ahmed. “I enjoyed his company.”
Ahmed’s mentee comes from a good family background, and his mother and father are both active in his life. The boy’s mother thought it would be good for the young man to have another role model.
“He’s a big kid and he’s on the football team. His peer group is strong. I can hardly compete with all the things in his life. I do not see him anymore. He has a busy life and sort of outgrew the need for a mentor,” says Ahmed, regarding how his commitment to his mentee ended.
Ahmed’s mentee plans to attend college and become an aeronautics engineer. “Intellectually, he can do it, but I hope he has the discipline,” worries Ahmed. “I’m not sure how much influence I had on him. However, I was told that after meeting with me for a while, he became more assertive and more confident with other people.”
Asked what success he had with his mentee, Ahmed laughs, “He did not get any worse … he stayed out of trouble and remained stable, which he already was before we met. But you never know. Perhaps I’ve planted something in the back of his mind that will benefit him along the way.”
Ahmed was raised in Trinidad and Tobago. He graduated from Florida Institute of Technology and is in his 14th year as a software engineer at Microsoft. We are grateful for the priceless support of mentors like Ahmed.
Want to discover more about mentoring and how you can affect the lives of local youth?