Mentor Requirements

Why do you need a Mentor?

The mentor serves as a role model, friend and advocate to a cadet for at least seventeen and a half (17 1/2) months. The cadet shares the responsibilities for the relationship with the mentor and is accountable for progress toward his/her Life Plan.

Eligibility requirements to become a mentor:

  • Should be a resident of Virginia.
  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Must be of the same gender as the applicant.
  • Cannot be an immediate relative, either by marriage or bloodline, or someone living in the same household or providing support to the applicant. (Mentor can be an uncle, aunt, grand-parent, cousin)
  • Must live within a reasonable distance to where the applicant will live during the post-residential phase (usually their hometown). This is to minimize travel.
  • Willing to MEET EXPECTATIONS OUTLINED ABOVE for up to 17½ months with four contacts per month, to include at least 4-hours of personal contact each month, during the twelve month post-residential phase.

Disqualifying factors:

  • History of arrest or conviction for a sex offense or crimes against juveniles
  • A felony conviction within the last five years (case by case consideration beyond that)
  • Any alcohol, drug, or substance abuse with the last five years
  • A history of domestic violence (reports, charges, convictions)
  • Failure to follow through on commitment on previous CCYA or ChalleNGe mentorships

All mentors will be required to:

Attend a four hour mentor orientation/training to learn how to effectively relate to the cadet, to become familiar with the program policies and guidelines and to become acquainted with the regional coordinator and other mentors in his/her area.

  • Submit and pass a CPS (Child Protective Services background check), police background check, and be fingerprinted before being accepted as a Mentor. Commonwealth ChalleNGe conducts and pays for all of the background checks
  • Commit to maintaining contact with the cadet throughout the program by telephone, mail, email or in person when possible.
  • Assist the cadet with the implementation of the life plan that each cadet develops in the residential phase.
  • Submit a MANDATORY Mentor Monthly Contact Form to the ChalleNGe Career Counselors.
  • Have at least four contacts with the cadet per month, two of which must be face to face during the Post-Residential Phase
  • Observe all program policies and guidelines for mentors.
  • Refer the cadet to community resources as needed and help the cadet obtain those resources.
  • Plan and complete a community service project with the cadet before graduation.
  • Participate in off-site visits with the Cadet and plan to attend relevant ChalleNGe activities (i.e., Mentor Day, graduation).
  • Jointly plan and participate in occasional informal and fun activities with the cadet.
    Promptly inform the Mentor Coordinator of any problems or needs the cadet may have or if problems exists with the mentor/mentee relationship.

Contacting Your Cadet While They Are in the Challenge Program

Mailing Address:
Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy
Attn: Cadet’s Last Name, First Name Platoon ___
253 C St., Camp Pendleton
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Email Your Cadet at: (with Cadet’s name and Platoon in subject line)

Phone: Cadets make weekly phone calls to mentors once they are matched. They will call you at certain times during the program.