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Coming Soon: Alumni Mentor Program

Interdependence in action.

The Alumni Mentor Program through Community for Life emphasizes the power of healing through social connection. We value interdependence, rejecting the long-held belief that people with disabilities should have an ultimate goal of independence. Interdependence honors that we can learn from each other and with each other. Everyone deserves to see themselves and people like them leading.

Through the Alumni Mentor Program, neurodivergent young adults with lived experience will be provided with opportunities to both deepen their career skills and leadership as well as implement activity-based programming for young people with disabilities that fosters social connection. Participants in the program – the mentees – gain confidence and connection as they get to experience young adults with disabilities in leadership positions. The Alumni Mentor Program will function as a reciprocal opportunity for growth and learning for both the Alumni Mentors and mentees to whom they are providing support and connection; a true “for us, by us” program model that is deeply rooted in Ivy Street’s commitment to disability justice.

At Ivy Street, Alumni Mentors are hired, trained and supervised by Alumni Mentor Coaches through Community for Life. Alumni Mentors function as role models with lived experience who provide activity-based programming to Ivy Street School students. Our service model is unique in that it is two-pronged, providing services and opportunities to the mentees and the Alumni Mentors themselves.

Dual Benefits of Mentorship

The Alumni Mentor program isn’t just for Ivy Street students, nor does it solely benefit the Alumni Mentors. By connecting these groups over their shared experience, everyone benefits. Students get role models; leaders get to be a role model: a powerful experience. Everyone gets to make connections, reduce social isolation, and extend their social capital. It’s a parallel process that serves everyone involved.

Opportunities and skill development for mentees:

  • Social connection and role modeling for adolescents and young adults with disabilities to support their healing and engagement in leisure opportunities
  • Community-based recreational opportunities
  • Social mechanics skill development through feedback loop within the context of the group activity facilitated by the Alumni Mentor
  • Therapeutic group activities which provide opportunities for recreational-based therapy and skill development for adolescents and young adults with disabilities
  • Self-esteem and confidence building through the affirming experience of seeing other young adults with disabilities in a leadership position

Opportunities and skill development for Alumni Mentors:

  • Community-based vocational opportunities that allow Alumni Mentors to hold a job on campus, preparing them for navigating life at work while supported in a safe and encouraging environment  
  • Social connection within the Alumni Mentor program itself
  • Social mechanics and self-awareness skill set is deepened through orientation and coaching
  • Leadership opportunities, self-esteem and confidence building through the leadership training and supervision model within the Alumni Mentor Community and through the program itself, honoring and nurturing the lived experience of the Alumni Mentors