The RISE Mentoring Program provides positive role models for teens of the City of Falls Church's Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, as well as the young women currently residing in the Aurora House group home. Managed by the city's Court Services Unit, the program assists teens in forming healthy relationships and attitudes to guide them into rewarding just futures.
RISE represents 4 principles essential to building productive and positive lives for these young people:
Being a Mentor
Teen participants (mentees) are matched with caring adult volunteers (mentors) who act as role models and offer friendship and encouragement. mentors strive to help mentees improve academic performance, self-esteem, and social aptitude. Through a consistent and goal-oriented relationship formed under the guidance of the program coordinator, mentors and mentees will complete school assignments together, practice social and life skills, discuss issues of importance to the mentee, and participate in recreational activities.
Mentors and mentees will meet at a minimum of 2 hours per week, including at least 1 face-to-face meeting. The schedule of these meetings will be determined by a cooperative effort between the mentor, mentee, and the mentee's parent / guardian.
Teen participants of the program have the unique opportunity to develop a relationship with a concerned adult who provides support, perspective, education and encouragement. In this environment, they can set goals to work towards with their mentor. For mentees, the results of this relationship can be seen in their school performance, their desire to resist engaging in further delinquent activity, and the new skills and confidence they exhibit.
The program directly improves the lives of the participants and their families while also benefitting Falls Church as a whole, by guiding at-risk teens onto a path to become productive, contributing members of the community.
Youth between the ages of 14 and 17 who are currently involved in the juvenile court system and have no violent or sexual offenses on their court record are eligible. The program is free of charge.
Prospective mentors must first complete a program application. Once approved, they are required to make a minimum 1 year commitment to volunteering with the program, be at least 21 years old, reside in the Northern Virginia area, and pass all required background checks.