Community Based Mentoring (CBM)

Potential Meets Opportunity

In our CBM program, a young person is matched 1:1 with a community volunteer. The pair meet on their own schedule, generally every other week for 2-4 hours. There’s so much to do! The beauty of YMS is the freedom you’re allowed. As a mentor, you can make an impact by doing the things you already love to do- whether it’s watching football, reading a book, going for a hike, or even tossing a ball back and forth. It all makes a difference.


Professionally supervised match friendships help to build self-esteem and open doors for the future. Youth demonstrate improved performance in school, at home, and in all of their relationships.


Mentors help children and youth work to achieve many goals, in fun and informal ways. They plant gardens to learn about nutrition, bake cookies to practice fractions, do community service to learn about responsibility, read together at the library to improve literacy, and much more.

Have Fun

Young people and volunteers have fun together! Activities include doing things kids enjoy, and exploring new experiences  together – play a sport, go to a movie, explore a park, or do a craft.


To become a mentee, young people must be between the ages of 7-14, and reside in Niagara County. The parent or guardian must contact the Agency to enroll a child.  

How it Works

Contact us at our office, 716.434.1855 to get started. The custodial Parent/Guardian completes and returns the Application for Youth Mentoring Services.

1. For 1:1 matches, staff complete a home interview (approximately one hour). This is an opportunity for us to get to know parent/guardian, child and their desires for a match.

2. All children enter the Engagement program.

3. For a 1:1 match, the child must attend an interactive workshop prior to being matched.

This time spent together, helps mentees reach their full potential as adults. Every activity, no matter how small, is an opportunity to share new experiences, build social skills and self-esteem, learn new perspectives, and work on personalized goals.

Regular conversations with the youth, volunteer and parent/guardian allow the caseworker to provide insight, advice, and share any information on upcoming events and activities.

Mentoring isn’t necessarily an expensive or festive occasion.  But it is ALWAYS SPECIAL!

  • Play a sport
  • Read a book
  • Play a board game
  • Rake the leaves… and play in them
  • Walk the Dog
  • Matched pairs can also use donated tickets to local events

More Information about Volunteering

Real Stories/Quotes from Mentors/Mentees