MENTOR Vermont Seeks Applicants for the 2021-2022 Vermont Mentoring Grants

MENTOR Vermont is excited to announce the start of the 2021-2022 Vermont Mentoring Grants application process. These annual grants are designed to support new and existing youth mentoring programs in Vermont that match adult volunteers as mentors for youth mentees (ages 5-22) in long-term, one-to-one, quality-based mentoring relationships.

The grants have traditionally been made possible through support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation and the Vermont Department for Children and Families. For the second straight year, the grants will also include funding from the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT COVID-19 Response Fund. This grant round will help youth mentoring organizations around the state continue the recovery process of resuming in-person mentoring and recruiting new volunteers to meet the increased need for mentoring due to the short and long-term effects of the pandemic.

“The next year will be critical for youth mentoring programs as they recover from the programmatic and financial effects of the pandemic,” said Chad Butt, executive director of MENTOR Vermont. “We’re proud of the work that programs have done to adjust to an ever-changing situation, and we hope that this year’s grants and the improved public health landscape will help provide stability and allow them to get back to recruiting new mentors for the increasing number of youth who are looking for mentors.”

This year’s Vermont Mentoring Grants will also focus on supporting mentoring agencies in various stages of incorporating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion into their programs. They will continue to support programs collaborating with other programs in their region to ensure that the youth they serve have the opportunity to continue meeting with their mentors through high school graduation, and work with MENTOR Vermont to ensure they are meeting best practices through the Quality Mentoring System.

During the 2020-2021 grant year, MENTOR Vermont and its funding partners awarded more than $413,000 to 24 grantees through the Vermont Mentoring Grants, to support youth mentoring programs coordinated through schools and non-profits in local communities across Vermont.

Potential applicants should review information about the grant guidelines, and how to apply by visiting Applicants will need to set up a profile and complete a short eligibility questionnaire in our grantmaking system. Full applications will be due by August 13.

This year’s grants are designed to fund one-to-one adult-to-youth mentoring programs serving youth in Vermont which operate at least 25 weeks of programming a year and whose matches meet at minimum one hour a week or four hours a month (depending on program model and subject to change based on the pandemic). This includes: the first-year implementation of new mentoring programs; the expansion of established programs to serve more youth or expand into underserved areas; and ongoing support for established mentoring programs that meet best practices.

About Mentoring during COVID-19: Throughout the pandemic, youth mentoring programs and mentors across Vermont have stepped up to continually adjust their approach to meet the needs of the youth they serve. Based on MENTOR Vermont’s COVID-19 Response Survey in the summer of 2020, 85% of youth mentees said that “during the pandemic my mentor was someone I could depend on,” 74% said that “my relationship with my mentor has made me feel less alone during the pandemic,” and 85% said that “my mentor provides a [space] where I can share my feelings and experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Since March 2020, programs have implemented creative ways for matches to continue meeting remotely from writing “pen pal” letters to each other to video chatting and virtual activities. They also took on new responsibilities to support mentees’ families during the crisis, including assisting with food and internet access, providing COVID-19 information in languages other than English, distributing masks, and helping to support mentees’ virtual education. With the continued success of the vaccine roll-out and the lifting of public health restrictions, programs across the state are resuming in-person mentoring and are actively seeking new mentors to meet the increased need. To find a mentoring program in your community, visit

About MENTOR Vermont: MENTOR Vermont provides funding, resources, and support for youth mentoring programs throughout the state. In addition to managing the Vermont Mentoring Grants, the organization provides technical support to mentoring program staff, maintains an online program directory and referral system for volunteers, manages a quality-based program management database, raises public awareness of mentoring, works with programs to ensure they are meeting best practices, and leads statewide mentoring initiatives. MENTOR Vermont is also the state affiliate of MENTOR National. For more information about mentoring programs and initiatives in Vermont, visit