About Mentoring

Share your life to change a life

Why mentoring?

Research shows youth benefit from having four-six non-parental caring adults in their life to support them in promoting positive and healthy life choices and reduce risks associated with anti-social behavior and social isolation.

Mentoring relationships are essential to helping students discover who they are, develop skills, and learn how to engage with the world. (source: Search Institute)


“Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. “

– Mentor

“I like being able to talk to someone else. I also like being able to get another perspective on things. I have someone to talk to that understands me and understands what I am going through.”

– Mentee


Students in YMI experience:

  • Increased self-confidence and an improved sense of self-worth
  • A better understanding of accountability and social responsibility
  • Improved communication skills particularly in identifying and dealing with emotions
  • Healthier social interactions with peers and family members


The Fishers community benefits by:

  • Having engaged, socially responsible individuals that are invested in the future and success of Fishers
  • Increased social connection and volunteer opportunities improve the overall health of individuals and their communities.
  • More adults who know how to engage those younger than themselves in common everyday interaction, helping younger people feel like they are valued and appreciated as members of the community
“My son has increased his awareness about what it means to be a positive male in the community by his mentor’s example. ”

– Guardian

“I’ve learned a lot about myself through this experience.  I’m able to step back and evaluate things from new perspectives. It’s so humbling and gratifying getting to help a young person learn to navigate the big picture world while embracing and enjoying the small day to day moments as well. This experience is not just about student growth, it’s facilitating my personal growth as well. ”

– Mentor


YMI mentors benefit from:

  • Gaining an appreciation and understanding of the local school system and issues youth face
  • Being challenged and growing just as much as the mentee
  • Learning how to connect with and support a student in their journey


Here are some questions you may have about YMI mentoring and a simple answer to help you better understand how beneficial mentoring is.

What is YMI?

YMI, or Youth Mentoring Initiative, is a school-based mentoring program partnering with the Hamilton Southeastern School District to provide 1:1 mentoring for students.

What does school-based mean?

All mentoring takes place at the student’s school during the school day. Formal mentoring does not occur during seasonal school breaks.

What type of mentors are you looking for?

If you’re a caring adult with the ability to consistently show up and support a student’s life with great communication and boundaries and empathy…then we want YOU! Mentors must meet the minimum age of 23 and pass a background check, but all life experiences and backgrounds are needed.

How do you choose which students get a mentor?

YMI’s philosophy is that every student benefits from having another caring adult in their life. Any student can be recommended to the YMI program! Most of our student referrals come from School Counselors, Social Workers, or parents who recognize the impact another caring adult could have on the life of a particular student. Oftentimes another listening ear can make all the difference!

What’s the time commitment?

Matches meet for 30-45 minutes on the same day & time every week (high schools meet on an alternating day schedule). Matches are expected to last at least an academic year.

Who pays for mentoring?

YMI is committed to offering FREE mentoring to students in Hamilton Southeastern Schools so that any student that wants a mentor has access to one! All YMI mentors are volunteers. YMI is a 501(c)(3) organization and receives grants, donations, and community support to help make this possible. If you would like to help make our mission possible and support youth mentoring, visit here.

What do matches talk about during mentoring time?

YMI mentors are trained to create great conversations to help students grow and process thoughts, feelings, circumstances, and life around them. You’ll often hear YMI matches talking, laughing and catching up on their weeks over a casual conversation, game, or activity. All conversations are kept confidential except in cases of suspected harm to self or others.

How many matches does YMI have in a school year?

We support approximately 200 matches each school year.
Youth who are Mentored are 78% more likely to volunteer in their communities, 90% interested in becoming a mentor, 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.