MENTOR Virginia provides training to mentoring program coordinators, youth development professionals, mentors and mentees seeking to enhance their knowledge of mentoring. Research indicates that training is a critical step for a program to enhance the quality and sustainability of mentoring relationships. Join us for a variety of workshop offerings designed to inform and strengthen programs and relationships.

New Mentor Training:

In this in-person, 2.5 hour workshop session, new mentors review techniques and frameworks to help prepare them to be the most effective mentors possible. Participants will gain a solid understanding of: a mentor’s role, relationship-building techniques, stages of relationship development, reporting requirements, communication, setting boundaries, and the positive youth development framework. We welcome current mentors, program staff, and anyone interested in improving their mentoring or youth development skills. To receive mentor training as an individual or for your program, two options are available:

1. MENTOR Virginia offers regular new mentor training sessions open to the general public at our office location in Richmond. Space is limited to 15 participants. Cost: $30 per person

Register now:


FAQs About Public Training:

Do I need to attend a mentor event?

No. While many participants have already signed up to begin a volunteer experience with a mentoring program, many others attend because they want to learn more about what it might mean to become a mentor. If you are looking to get involved in a program after the training, we can certainly refer you to one of our great program partners! Still other registrants are staff members of youth-serving programs exploring professional development or skill building opportunities for staff or volunteers. We welcome everyone!

Do I get "Certified"?

Following training, MENTOR Virginia can provide certificates of completion upon request. Some employers request these as supporting documentation for professional development goals. MENTOR Virginia is a nonprofit agency and does not issue any kind of formal government-sponsored certification.

2. MENTOR Virginia schedules private on-site training for mentoring programs upon request. Cost: Varies based on program structure and may include travel rates.

Nonprofit Organizations: $350
Universities And Government Agencies: $400
Corporate Partners: $500

Content is specifically customized to each audience. If additional support or information is needed, contact Natalie Foster, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, at

FAQs About Private Training:

What length of time should my program plan for a training?

A standard new mentor training session is 2.5 hrs, but training may be modified to fit 2 or 3 hour windows. Trainings of less than 2 hours are not recommended in order to preserve the quality of content.

What does it cover? Can I make requests for content?

Key content areas include relationship-building techniques, defining a mentor’s role and navigating situations of role confusion, reporting requirements, communication techniques, setting healthy boundaries, and the positive youth development framework. For private training, MENTOR Virginia works with program coordinators to customize trainings within this framework, identifying common challenges or questions to emphasize during the session. Additional material surrounding trauma-informed mentoring and cultural sensitivity may also be added. We want to make sure that the training is as relevant as possible for the unique needs of every program’s mentors.

How many people can I have at my training? Is there a minimum/maximum?

We have trained groups as small as 3 and as large as 120. Because our training curriculum is heavily activity- and discussion-based, trainings are most successful when there are enough participants to engage and share in active but structured discussion. We often recommend a “sweet spot” of 20-25 to maximize engagement, but this should not be considered a hard and fast rule. 

Mentor VA provided training at the beginning of the program year, but I see that my mentors need opportunities to learn and develop their skills throughout the year. What now?

VMP offers mentor training for all stages of the mentoring relationship. 

  • Q&A: Mentors gather with VMP staff for an opportunity to ask questions about challenges they have faced in mentoring and to practice scenarios of these common challenges
  • Mentoring with a Trauma-informed Lens
  • Cultural Sensitivity in Mentoring
  • “Deeper Dive” into Communication: Communication Techniques to Build Partnership
  • “Deeper Dive” into Boundary Setting: Practice Scenarios
  • Closure: Advice and tips for ending the program year on a good note

What if I'm having trouble gathering my mentors for one training?

If scheduling is an issue, several partners choose to send mentors to MENTOR Virginia’s general public sessions, offered 1-2 times per month, allowing mentors to select a training date that works best for their schedule. Call MENTOR Virginia staff to talk through scheduling options. 

My program is located in ___. Will you really come to me?

Yes, we will come to you! We travel all over the Commonwealth to provide trainings to partners. Mileage rates apply when travel is required.

I came to a training before and really liked my trainer. Can I make a request?

We love when our partners bond with our training team! MENTOR Virginia’s training team offers a depth of experience across a variety of specialty areas. Specific trainers can certainly be requested, and MENTOR Virginia makes an effort to accommodate requests depending on availability, but MENTOR Virginia reserves the right to assign trainers based on best fit and scheduling. All trainers have many years of experience with youth development, coordinating youth programming, training mentors, and serving as mentors. See below to learn more!

Meet Our Trainers:

Betsy Bilharz, Director of Training and Program Quality

Natalie Foster, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships

Dwayne Bennett, Trainer

Tiffany Patton, Trainer

Ashley Williams, Trainer