Welcome to Community Friends!
Community Friends matches Middlebury College student mentors with Addison County children. Pairs usually get together once a week for a few hours, exploring opportunities on and off campus and getting to know each other and the world around them. Pairs have access to games, sports equipment, crafts, and College facilities, such as the Natatorium, to use during their time together.
Community Friends became an official student organization in fall 2002, but the program has existed since 1960. Approximately 2,000 Middlebury students have been matched with Addison County children over the years.
We are also excited to introduce our two affiliated programs, Xiao Pengyou and Distinguished Men of Color Mentoring Program. Meaning “little friends” in Chinese, Xiao Pengyou seeks to match adopted Asian children with mentors of Asian backgrounds in order to explore questions of race and culture.
The Distinguished Men of Color Mentoring Program aims to provide support and a sense of community for local children of color by matching them with self-identified college students of color.
Currently, around 70 pairs of Middlebury students and children are matched as Community Friends. Many of the pairs we match have wonderful relationships that last through the volunteer's years at Middlebury and beyond.
Read the application instructions and complete the application here.
For Guidance Counselors and Parents
If you would like to refer a child to our program, please use this form: CF Mentee Application.
2012–13 Student Coordinators
Each year Middlebury students work as student coordinators for the Community Friends program. Coordinators help recruit new volunteers, screen and match prospective Community Friends, and attend weekly meetings with the staff coordinator to plan events and keep the program running smoothly.
Please feel free to contact the student coordinators if you want more information about the program or mentoring itself. The coordinators are great resources for ideas of things to do, advice on how to handle situations that may come up with your friend or his/her family, or answers to questions about any aspect of the program.
Becoming a mentor is a very important responsibility. A mentor is a guide, a trusted friend, a good listener, and a coach. Your role is to support your friend and serve as a positive role model for him or her. You can't "save" your mentee from every difficult situation that may have occurred in his or her life, and you can't try to be a psychologist or a counselor. What you can do is help to set a positive example by being there for your mentee as a consistent companion with whom he or she can learn and grow.
Contact Ashley Calkins, email@example.com, Community Engagement Coordinator, 802-443-3099