Mentoring is a purposeful, effective and rewarding way to have a direct and lasting impact on a youth's life. Children and teens referred to Y mentoring programs have been identified by parents, guardians, school counselors and other plugged-in adults as needing the steady, predictable presence of a caring responsible adult in their lives.

There are many ways to participate as a volunteer mentor at the Y. We invite you to get involved.


Reach & Rise™

Reach & Rise™ is a one-to-one mentoring program designed to build a better future for youth by matching them with an adult mentor for one year. Free to families, trained mentors work to understand cultural and social development, mental health issues, risk factors, and offer ways to communicate and relate to youth.

As a mentor you will spend time with a participant, 6–18 years old, who may be an at risk youth dealing with low self-esteem, social isolation, family problems, peer conflicts, poor academics, and/or poor decision making skills.

Mentors offer youth a positive, consistent, and nurturing relationship to build self-esteem, decision-making skills, and improve school performance. You’ll gain personal satisfaction as a mentor from making a difference in a youth’s life by devoting time and sharing your strengths.
Mentor with Students

YMCA Project Cornerstone

YMCA Project Cornerstone is building a community where all adults support children and teenagers so that they thrive. A community initiative of YMCA of Silicon Valley, the program reaches more than 400 schools to change the personal behavior of adults, strengthen programs that serve youth, and impact public policy.

Community Partnerships help YMCA Project Cornerstone provide training on building strength and resiliency in youth to thousands of adults who regularly touch young people’s lives. Partnerships with local schools help empower young people, parents, and school staff to improve school climate and create vibrant, caring communities of learners.

Become a caring adult as a YMCA Project Cornerstone Volunteer.


In partnership with Youth Community Service, Palo Alto Family YMCA is hosting the Learning Engagement Asset Development Mentorship Program. L.E.A.D. is a largely youth led program and an opportunity for youth to engage in community service, asset development, and leadership growth. High schoolers will be grouped with two elementary schoolers and will serve as their mentor throughout the program.