Become a Mentor

Mentor 1

Mentor one student. Change two lives.

Philadelphia Futures' SAS Program is grounded in the belief that a caring and committed adult can make a significant difference in the life of a student. We recognize the profound impact that a mentor can have on a student's chance of graduating from high school, completing college and becoming economically self-sufficient.

What it Means to be an SAS Mentor

A mentor in the Sponsor-A-Scholar (SAS) Program is a supportive adult who serves as a role model, advocate and cheerleader to one college-bound high school student.  A mentor opens doors to new social, cultural and educational experiences and provides professional networks for a student.

Each mentor is matched with an individual SAS student and asked to commit to that student through, at least, the critical first year of college. Mentors are an integral part of our students' success.

Learn more about this opportunity by watching our video about mentoring in the SAS Program, and reading our mentoring materials

What it Takes to be a SAS Mentor

SAS Mentor 3Being a mentor in the SAS Program requires a profound belief in the power of education. Our mentors are all college graduates. Effective mentors need to be willing to take on the ups and downs, joys and challenges of a teenager's life. To their relationships, mentors bring:

COMMITMENT
Mentors make a long-term commitment to their students. Mentors are matched with students in 10th grade and work with them through, at least, the first year of college. Many relationships last a lifetime.

CONSISTENCY
Mentors communicate with their students once a week and see their students at least monthly. They go on outings with their students to sporting events, cultural venues, restaurants and museums. They visit colleges, study for the SAT together or simply sit and talk.

A GENEROUS SPIRIT
Mentors provide opportunities. They help students create a vision for their future. Mentors are willing to make a place in their lives for their students. They listen, guide and inspire.

Mentors also:

  • Regularly communicate with Sponsor-A-Scholar Program staff
  • Participate in Philadelphia Futures' program activities and events
  • Attend mentor training, including semi-annual mentor roundtables
  • Provide exposure to professional work environments, networking or potential opportunities

We Are Here to Support You

Each SAS mentor and student is carefully and thoughtfully matched. Once you are matched with a student, the Philadelphia Futures staff is with you every step of the way. Our mentors receive training and are provided with guidance and encouragement from the Philadelphia Futures staff throughout their relationship with their student. All mentors also receive a comprehensive Mentor Handbook specifically designed for SAS mentors. 

Apply to Become a Mentor

State Law Requirements
To ensure the safety of our students, state law requires that all prospective mentors participate in a state-certified child abuse and criminal record check, and an FBI fingerprint-based background check if you have not lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the last 10 years. Philadelphia Futures provides the necessary forms, submits the materials and covers the cost of the certification process. Mentors are not matched with students until certifications are received.

If you share our commitment to education and to leveling the playing field for all students, we invite you to mentor one of our promising high school students. If you or someone you know would like to become a mentor, please complete and submit the following documents: 

  1. Mentor Application
  2. Child Abuse Clearance
  3. Child Abuse Clearance Waiver
  4. Criminal Record Check  
  5. FBI Fingerprint-based Background Check
  6. Disclosure Statement

Return the application and documents to Philadelphia Futures via mail, email or fax. 

  • Mail the materials to:

Ellen Solomon, Manager, Volunteers and Special Projects
Philadelphia Futures
230 South Broad Street, 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Scan and email the documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fax and documents to Philadelphia Futures at 215.790.1888

Once we receive your materials, we will contact you to schedule an orientation session for prospective mentors. The session, held at our Center City office, is followed by an individual interview to learn more about you and your interest in mentoring.

If you have questions prior to submitting your application, or if you wish to receive a hard copy via direct mail, please contact Ellen Solomon, Manager, Volunteers and Special Projects, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone at 215.790.1666, Ext. 436.

Mentor Activity Ideas and Resources

SAS Mentor 2What activities might you and your student enjoy? Try one of these ideas:

Read a book together and discuss it... Join the Philadelphia Futures Book Club... Play chess... Go to a movie... Go for a walk... Cook a meal together... Visit a college campus... Do homework together... Visit a museum... Go to a concert or a play... Volunteer together... Take your student to your workplace... Meet each other's families... Go to a sporting event... Play a board game... Attend a free lecture.

For additional ideas, refer to the SAS Spotlight newsletter, mailed monthly. If you are a current mentor and have an activity you would like to share, please contact Ellen Solomon, Manager, Volunteers and Special Projects, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone at 215.790.1666, Ext. 436.