Youth Villages stories

Youth Villages stories

mentor car parade

Mentoring amid COVID

Dec 11, 2020 | Blog

Mentors make a powerful difference in the lives of the children served by Youth Villages. The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on almost every industry and profession, including youth mentoring programs that provide such critical human connections for young people striving to achieve goals and overcome challenges. Thankfully, our Chris Crye Mentoring Program has responded with innovation and adaptation to this crisis with increased support to youth, staff and mentors.

To ensure physical distancing does not mean social disconnection, our staff and mentors have worked hard to create ways to continue the important relationships between our mentors and youth. Maintaining those connections in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have included:

  • Virtual board games such as chess, checkers and bingo through online gaming software
  • Sending cards and letters
  • Reading the same book and discussing during virtual visits (like their own book club)
  • Virtual tour of their mentor’s office or home
  • Mentor Parades throughout campus

“It has been inspiring to see this response and willingness of our mentors to stay connected to our youth,” said Tangina Sanders, Chris Crye Mentor Program manager. “Mentorship is even more important during changing and trying times. Our young people greatly benefit from social connection and engagement with caring adults”

Studies show that children who have just one consistent, caring adult in their mentorslives are less likely to drop out of school, have fewer run-ins with the law and build better relationships with their own families. At Youth Villages, the goal of mentoring is to provide young people with a positive adult influence – someone who helps them get through the hard times, assists them in making the right decisions and who will be a friend.

“I became a mentor because I wanted to be a friend, support and advocate for my mentee,” said Erin P. “My favorite moment was seeing how much progress, insight and courage my mentee continues to gain to overcome her personal obstacles.”

The Youth Villages Chris Crye Fund was established in 1998 in memory of real estate broker Chris Crye, son of Harold Crye, who died in a horseback riding accident. He was an active volunteer and supporter of Youth Villages.

You can help make a difference – even during the pandemic. Apply today to become a mentor! To learn more, visit