Community Friends - 57 Years of Friendship!

Community Friends is a one-on-one mentoring program that matches Middlebury College students with children ages 6-12 in Addison County. The program was originally founded in 1960 by the Counseling Services of Addison County, and now runs as a Student Organization advised by the Center for Community Engagement. Mentors meet with their matches for at least two hours per week. Matches can have fun exploring campus, crafting, attending sports events, eating in the dining halls, and much more! 

Manos Unidas is a partnership between Community Friends and Juntos, a migrant-student solidarity group, that matches children and mentors who identify as Latinx or Hispanic in mentoring relationships that explore notions of culture and identity. Match time for these pairs can take place in English or in Spanish. If you are interested in applying to be a Manos Unidas mentor, please designate that option on the Community Friends application. Matches meet at least once a week for two hours, and are invited to Community Friends and Manos Unidas specific events that are hosted throughout the semester. 

Learn more about both programs, and find the applications by clicking on the Questions below:

What does a typical Community Friends match look like?

All Community Friends pairs attend an initial Match meeting, facilitated by a Community Friends Student Coordinator. During this meeting, the Student Coordinator explains ground rules for the program, shares waivers and permissions, and helps the mentor and mentee family get to know each other. Mentors are responsible for being in contact with mentee families to arrange for weekly meeting times, so it's important to establish the best way to communicate for all.

After the initial Match meeting, mentors and mentees meet once a week for about 2 hours, exploring opportunities to get to know each other and spend time on- and off-campus. Mentors and mentees might go on a hike on the Trail Around Middlebury, play pool in The Grille, shoot hoops in the gym, or do a craft project together. We try our best to pair Mentors and Mentees who share common interests!

We ask mentors to commit to meet with your mentee for a minimum of one academic year although many of our matches continue for their entire time at Middlebury. Mentors are required to attend two training events throughout the course of the school year. We also ask mentors to respond to email check-ins twice a semester so we can stay up to date and provide support for your match! 

Sign up to be a Community Friend Mentor

For Middlebury College students interested in being a mentor, please read the enclosed letter and complete this Mentor Application. Completed applications can be returned to Megan Brakeley by email or in hard copy at the CCE office (20 Old Chapel Road).

You can also reach out to the Community Friends Student Coordinators to learn more about the program and how you can be involved,

Refer or Sign up a child to be a Community Friends mentee

To sign up your child or to make a referral, please complete our Mentee Referral Form and return it to Megan Brakeley by email or post mail at the following address:

Community Friends, Attn: Megan Brakeley

20 Old Chapel Road

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT 05753

What happens after I submit my Mentor Application or a Mentee Referral?

Since Community Friends is a student-directed organization, Student Coordinators work closely with the staff adviser to match Mentors and Mentees. We conduct a screening process for all Mentors, which includes an interview, a background check, and three reference checks. Once Mentors are accepted to the program, Student Coordinators reach out to Mentee families to arrange a first Match Meeting. Please be aware that, depending on the time of year, this process can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks. If you have questions about your application or our timeline, please feel free to reach out to Zoe Kaslow by email or by phone at 802.443.3010.