Community Coffee Hour

MENTOR Virginia will virtually host Community Coffee Hour every 2nd Wednesday of the month with mentoring program staff to create space for peer-to-peer learning and resource sharing, and to address issues you and your organization might be facing during the pandemic and beyond. We hope to see you at an upcoming Community Coffee Hour!

Upcoming Community Coffee Hours

  • December 8, 2021 from 9 – 10 am: Strategies for Partnering and Engaging with Schools | Register here

Past Community Coffee Hours

November 2021: Helping Youth Manage Anxiety & Depression

Session Recording

For November’s Community Coffee Hour, we were joined by three licensed mental health professionals for a panel discussion on how mentors and mentoring programs can help youth manage anxiety and depression. Our panelists answered questions including:

  • How can adult mentors and volunteers support young people who are struggling with mental health?
  • What resources can mentors and programs connect young people / their families with when they are struggling with mental health?
  • What is the best way for mentors to check in with young people about their mental health?

      October 2021: Open Space to Discuss Recruiting Virtual and In-Person Mentors

      There was no recording for this session. See resources below.

      October’s Community Coffee Hour provided open space to small group discussion about current mentor recruitment successes, challenges, and opportunities. One group focused on recruiting mentors for e-mentoring, peer-led by Laura Leporati of AMP! Metro Richmond. One group focused on recruiting mentors for in-person mentoring, peer-led by David Crisafi of L.A.U.N.C.H. for Life.


      MENTOR Virginia recently hosted a workshop on mentor and mentee recruitment that reviewed many helpful resources.

        September 2021: Building Networks with Programs and Families

        Session Recording

        Two guest speakers joined us for our September Community Coffee Hour, each discussing their process for developing relationships and building networks of support around youth. Jose Martinez from Casa Chirilagua shared information about how he and his team build meaningful relationships with families, and how that enables them to provide culturally relevant mentoring to their youth. Rondell Davis from Another Level Youth & Family Services talked about the strategy he has used to build relationships with other youth-serving programs to form stronger referral and resource networks for youth.

          August 2021: Navigating the Changing Fundraising Landscape

          Session Recording

          Two panelists joined us for our August Community Coffee Hour: Bianca Myrick, the founder of Pretty Purposed and Susan Hallett, Community Investment Consultant to the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation. From the perspective of both grant-makers and grant-writers, the panelists discussed the changing landscape of nonprofit fundraising and other critical topics in resource development for mentoring programs. The discussion covered many topics including:

          • Building relationships with funders over time and building your organization’s fundraising team
          • How many funders are changing their giving strategies to be more equitable and accessible to community organizations
          • Tips for how to approach difficult conversations with funders (such as when your program isn’t going to meet expected outcomes)
          • The importance of approaching fundraising efforts with a strengths-based lens and language
          • How to build your organization’s capacity for fundraising

            July 2021: Tools & Best Practices for Measuring Program Outcomes

            Session Recording

            Special guest Mike Garringer, MENTOR’s Director of Research and Evaluation, joined us for our July Community Coffee Hour. Mike provided best practices and resources for:

            • Using your program’s theory of change for evaluation
            • Conducting an implementation evaluation
            • Measuring relationship quality in mentoring matches
            • Conducting an outcome evaluation


            May 2021: Virtual, In-Person, or Hybrid? Choosing a Program Model for Summer/Fall 2021

            Considerations for Virtual, In-Person, and Hybrid Mentoring

            The resource above, which was developed based on the questions/concerns of over 15 programs, provides guiding questions and considerations to help mentoring programs plan for upcoming programming in virtual, in-person, and hybrid contexts.


            April 2021: Strategies for Building Targeted Mentor Recruitment Pipelines featuring Rameka Blakey

            Session Recording | PowerPoint Slides

            Rameka Blakey, an expert in targeted mentor recruitment with more than 25 years of experience in the mentoring field, shares research-based strategies for building mentor recruitment pipelines for targeted populations including:

            • Black male mentors
            • Other mentors of color
            • Mentors who can support LGBTQ youth
            • Mentors who can support foster youth
            • Mentors who can support immigrant youth
            • Mentors from rural communities


            March 2021: Innovative Strategies for Ongoing Mentor Training + Support

            Session Recording

            Leslie Velez shares how Henrico HEROES has been providing ongoing training and support to their mentors through monthly training videos on topics like resiliency paired with follow-up conversations, allowing for sustained connections and learning even in a time of social distancing. Andy Miller shares how BEST Kids provides ongoing training and support to their mentors through a variety of strategies, including Solidarity Sessions that the program hosted last summer to help mentors have a space to talk about race and learn how to exemplify solidarity with their mentees.

            February 2021: Empowering Youth Voice & Leadership

            Session Recording

            Tricia Howell and Yvonnia Bryant share C4K’s strategies for leveraging youth voice in their mentoring program and how focusing on youth voice has positively impacted and contributed to asset-building for youth in the program.

            Lerone Joseph shares about how the Mayor’s Youth Academy built and launched a youth council, how they have supported youth activism and civic engagement through the youth council, and how these efforts have positively impacted youth asset-building.

            Ashley Short and Vaughn Garland share about how Art 180 has formed partnerships with community groups and individuals in service of providing asset-building arts opportunities to young people. They also discuss the role of art in empowering youth voice and expression.


            January 2021: Strategies for Family Engagement

            PowerPoint Slides + Resources for Family Engagement

            The MENTOR Virginia team discussed strategies for engaging and building trusting relationships with families, both in virtual and in-person settings. Engaging families successfully in your program is an important part of helping each youth benefit as much as possible from your program.