Frequently Asked Questions

What does Amachi mean?
Amachi is a Nigerian Ibo words which literally translates to "who knows but what God has brought us through this child..." It has become the centerpiece around which young people are able to realize their God-given potential regardless of their home circumstances.

What is the importance of mentoring?
When a mentoring relationship is successful, there is the potential for improved socio-emotional skills and produce stronger, healthier relationships between children and their peers and authority figures, leading to better outcomes in their social and academic endeavors.

Why one-to-one mentoring?
When one child is matched with one adult mentor, there is increased instance of a trusting relationship. Further, there is national research that shows the positive influence that a one-to-one mentoring relationship can have on a youth. Specifically, youth who are mentored are:
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 46% less likely to begin using drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 33% less likely to engage in violent behavior when compared to similar at-risk youth
- Show measurable and sustained improvements in school performance
- Have increased confidence in relationships with peers and adults
Research demonstrates that mentoring works to break the cycle of low achievement and delinquent behavior among high-risk youth.

What is the time commitment for mentors?
We ask our mentors to spend a minimum of one hour a week one-on-one with the child for a minimum of 18 months. Please check the
Mentor Job Description for more information.

What are the elegibility requirements for mentors?
We are looking for caring adults who want to be a friend and positive role model for a child who has one or both parents incarcerated. Mentors must be at least 18 years of age. Mentors who are 55 or older will be enrolled in the
Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

What is the time commitment outside of the 1 hour a week meeting with the child?
There are occasional group outings with other mentor-mentee pairs that are organized by Catholic Charities. There are also mentor support groups that are available and occasional training sessions.

Where do I meet with my Amachi child?
Our Amachi mentoring program is a community based program. This means that you can meet with your Amachi child at pre-selected community sites such as the library, zoo, skating rink, museum, park, movies, shopping, church, etc.

What type of support and assistance does a mentor receive?
All mentors undergo training through Catholic Charities to make sure they are prepared to take part in a mentoring relationship. During the mentoring relationship, mentors are in weekly contact with a case worker at Catholic Charities to monitor activities and make sure that the relationship is a strong and healthy one.

What expenses are involved in mentoring?
The Amachi-Break the Cycle mentor carries no financial responsibilities in the relationship. The emphasis in the Amachi model is on spending time, not money with the child. However, if a mentor invites his/her mentee to a sporting event, movie, lunch, etc., the mentor will carry the expense for that particular activity. Catholic Charities may provide mentors with free tickets to sporting or other community events/activities for use with mentees. All expenses and mileage incurred are tax-deductible.

How are the mentors screened?
Mentors go through a thorough applications and interview process. Catholic Charities has an in-depth application that includes a background check. The background check includes a criminal history check as well as a child abuse history check. Following the background check there is an interview process. Once a mentor has been screened, he/she is then matched with a child based on the interests of both the child and mentor.

What type of activities to the mentor and mentee participate in on a regular basis?
The most important thing that a mentor and a mentee can do together is have fun. The key is for a positive figure to be in the child's life, regardless of what they do together. But beyond just spending time together a mentor and mentee can:
- Discuss positive career and life experiences
- Engage in activities to support the mentees educational goals
- Participate in group recreational activities and events
- Come up with activities on your own that suit your mutual interests

What type of training is provided?
Mentor training is provided through Catholic Charities. Once you have applied and gone through the background check and interview process, Catholic Charities will inform you of when and where your mentor training will take place.

How can I sign up to be an Amachi-Break the Cycle mentor?
You will find an application at the top of the page under the
Mentor tab.

How can I refer a child to Amachi-Break the Cycle?
You will find a referral form under the
Enroll a Child tab at the top of the page.

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