Elementary Student Mentor
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Affinity Mentoring

Elementary Student Mentor

You’ll be carefully matched with a student, considering your interests and skills and theirs. Mentoring is a bit different than tutoring. Your goal is to build a relationship with the student: find out their needs and skills and interests and then meet them there. Over board games and reading and playing and talking, you’ll build a foundation of friendship and mutual respect. If a student isn’t interested in reading but loves soccer, maybe you practice spelling words while kicking a soccer ball around. Or maybe a kid who isn’t that interested in talking will open up when you start shuffling the Uno cards or running around on the playground.

The screening process takes place in August, and you’ll get started with your student in mid-September. You’ll meet with them for one hour every week through the end of May. Staff will help you determine if returning the next year is a good fit for you and the student.

For the Southwest Community Campus (K–5th grade), mentors meet with students over lunch between 11 a.m.–1 p.m. or after school between 4-5 p.m. Spanish-speaking skills would be an added bonus here.

For Burton Elementary School (K-5th grade), mentors meet with students anytime between 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

This year, Godfrey Lee Elementary School (K - 2nd grade) is also a site.

Show me how to get started
One hour/week for at least one school year; see description for location hours
16+; pass background checks
Burton, Southwest
Various sites

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You realize the importance of a child having a stable adult in his or her life, and you’re willing to commit to being that person for a good chunk of time. You are able to provide a safe space and listen when the student wants to talk, but you don’t take it personally if they don’t want to talk either. You have the mental and emotional space and energy to invest in a student and don’t necessarily expect a lot back. You can be flexible and creative with kids who can be unpredictable on a given day.

About Affinity Mentoring

Affinity Mentoring is transforming lives of both adult mentors and their student mentees through one-on-one mentoring relationships in Grand Rapids. Working together with Community School Leadership Teams and Affinity's Corporate Partners, an environment is fostered where students are nurtured and families feel comfortable, engaged and supported. It is in these relationships that children in high poverty schools are given the additional emotional, social, and academic support they need to succeed.

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What Others are Saying

"Affinity was a perfect fit for me as it focused on children that just need someone to spend time with and show that you care. Mentoring is a great way to reach children as you simply need to offer an ear and words of encouragement and support. If I had to choose one highlight from the three years I have spent with [my mentee's] so far, it would have to be the joy I see in his eyes when we do special things together. We have gone to the Kroc Center many times (I think he is a fish) and he absolutely loves going to Craig's Cruisers. I say treat it as you are meeting a new person in your life and building a relationship. It starts slow but blossoms into something that means the world to the child, and you will find that it changes you in ways you can't even imagine."


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Affinity Mentoring directly.

Angela Reyna-Perez Mentoring Program Assistant 616-406-3987

What to Expect

Start by submitting an application online, and specify which location you’d prefer. (This can be changed later if needed!) Once you’ve submitted an application, you will be contacted by an Affinity Mentoring staff member to schedule an in-person interview. In the interview, you’ll learn more about the program, and they’ll learn more about you to see if you’re a good fit and what type of student would be best matched to you. There’s a background check and reference checks, as well as a three-hour in-person training (with several scheduling options).