Skip to main content

Refugee Youth Mentoring Program

What We Do

Refugee Youth Mentoring Program

The Youth Mentoring Program is focused on meeting the unique needs of youth ages 15-24 as they adapt to life in a new country. This includes gaining deeper insight into American culture, exploring and engaging with their new community, and achieving self-sufficiency. Mentors are paired with a mentee for 6 months and meet for a minimum of 8 hours per month to work on goals together. 

The mentee sets their own goals based on their individual needs, and can utilize their mentor for educational support, career guidance, cultural learning, language practice, and friendship. Their mentors will receive personal fulfillment through helping someone mature, progress, and achieve goals, introduction to different world views and cultures, and deeper understanding of young adult and societal problems.

Becoming a mentor:

Mentors must be at least 18 years old, residing in/near Austin, and able to commit to the program for 8 hours/month for 6 months*. We welcome all applicants regardless of language or profession.

Mentor Roles & Expectations:

  • Serve as a positive role model and friend
  • Assist in cultural adjustment and learning about American culture
  • Help the mentee identify and work towards their goals
  • Plan and participate in activities or conversations together at least twice a month
  • Build self-esteem and motivation
  • Empower mentee to build skills to complete tasks on their own
  • Check-in regularly with program coordinators and submit time sheets
  • Demonstrate positive qualities, including being dependable, supportive, patient, flexible, and respectful of individual differences

Interested in becoming a mentor?

After an application is submitted, a program coordinator will be in touch to schedule a virtual interview. Once approved, mentors will complete both the RST General Volunteer Orientation and Mentor Training. These trainings are both online and self-paced. Mentors must also complete a $10 background check, and, if paired with a mentee under 18, get fingerprinted.

For a detailed timeline of mentorship, click HERE.

To apply to be a mentor, please click HERE.

Mentee Goals:

Each mentee chooses their own short and long-term goals that they would like to work on throughout the mentorship. If the mentee does not speak English, learning and practicing English will likely be the primary goal of the mentorship. The Program Coordinators will be available throughout the mentorship to offer guidance, support, or resources, and will check-in once a month to discuss successes, challenges, and make sure program goals are being met.

Click here to learn more about and see some of the most common goals our mentees set for themselves!


For more information about YMP please contact Kamilia Hrija, the Youth Mentoring Program Coordinator., (737) 236-2688


*Due to COVID-19, the mentorship program is currently operating on a hybrid model, both virtually and in person. Mentors must live in the Austin area.

  • Bivens Foundation
  • St. Davids Foundation
    St. Davids Foundation
  • Child Welfare Fund
    Child Welfare Fund
  • State Employee Charitable Campaign

  • UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
    UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
  • Hope Supply Co.
    Hope Supply Co.
  • Pro Literacy
    Pro Literacy
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield, Healthy Kids Healthy Families
    Blue Cross Blue Shield, Healthy Kids Healthy Families
  • United Way of Cameron County
    United Way of Cameron County
  • United Way Dallas
    United Way Dallas
  • Tableau
  • Amarillo Area Foundation
    Amarillo Area Foundation
  • All Together ATX
    All Together ATX
  • City of Austin- Office of Equity
    City of Austin- Office of Equity
  • One Star Foundation
    One Star Foundation
  • City of Dallas
    City of Dallas
  • Shapiro Foundation
    Shapiro Foundation
  • Trusted World
    Trusted World
  • Frost Bank
    Frost Bank
  • Alamo Drafthouse
    Alamo Drafthouse
  • HEB