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! 

The Community Friends mentor application will open in early September 2019. The Fall priority deadline for Middlebury College students to become Community Friends Mentors is September 27, 2019.  With questions, please contact comfriends@middlebury.edu

Learn more about the program, click on the FAQs below. 

What does a typical Community Friends match look like?

Mentors and mentees get matched by Student Coordinators during our Fall Recruitment season (or later, via a wait list). After an initial match meeting with Student Coordinators and parent/guardians in attendance, mentors and mentees begin to meet regularly 1:1 for about 2 hours each week. The mentor and mentee coordinate the timing of that meeting, based on mutual availability, and the meetings usually occur on Middlebury College's campus.

Mentors and mentees often play games, visit fun areas around campus like the gym or dining halls, construct crafts, and can attend group events for mentors and mentees held occasionally throughout the year. Mentors are trained in two trainings per semester, and are supported with weekly ideas emails and Student Coordinator check-ins. 

The new mentor application will open in early September 2019 and the priority deadline is September 27, 2019. We will be opening the application again for the Spring semester in early 2020. 

With any questions, please reach out to the Community Friends Student Coordinator, Kira Waldman, comfriends@middlebury.edu

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 via a Google Form

To learn more about the program and make a referral in Spanish, use our Spanish Language (formerly Manos Unidos) Mentee Referral Form

We'd prefer you to submit the form via this web-based form. However, if that is not possible and you need to use the Word Doc version of the form, download it here and return the form to Kailee Brickner-McDonald by email or mail (see address listed in form). 

Priority deadline for referral forms for Fall 2019 is October 4, 2019. If you submit a form after the 4th, it may take until early 2020 to process your mentee application. 

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 potential 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 schedule the Match Day they can attend (Fall 2019 Match Days are October 26 and November 3, 2-4pm both options). If those dates aren't possible for the mentee or mentor, a separate first match meeting can be arranged.

If you have questions about your application or our timeline, please feel free to reach out to our Lead Student Coordinator (comfriends@middlebury.edu).

If you submit a mentor application during the Fall recruitment season for mentors (due September 27, 2019), we will be in touch via email to schedule an interview and have you process your backgound check. After the screening process, if you are accepted, you'll attend a New Mentor Training and schedule your Match Day where you'll meet your new mentee!

If you submit a mentee referral form before the priority deadline (October 4, 2019), and we are able to make a good mentor match, we'll be in touch to schedule a first mentor/mentee meeting at one of our Match Days (October 26 or November 3), or a separate meeting if you've indicated that those days don't work for you. 

If you submit mentor application or mentee form after the Fall deadlines, or we are unable to make a good match in the Fall recruitment season, you'll be put on our waitlist and we'll be in touch when we are able to find you a match, usually by February. If you submit your form after February, we'll likely not be able to match you until the following Fall. 

For questions or inquiries about Community Friends, please contact our Lead Student Coordinator (comfriends@middlebury.edu) or the Assistant Director, Kailee Brickner-McDonald (kbricknermcdonald@middlebury.edu).