Youth Peer Mentoring

VR Youth Peer Mentoring is time-limited, self-advocacy training service where a Mentor/peer who is close in age (within approximately 6 years) teaches the youth through a one-on-one mentoring relationship how to self-advocate for community, social and professional services and supports.

VR Transition Youth Services help students with disabilities train for a job, continue their education, or find a job after high school. Under this program, every youth will have the opportunity to participate in sponsored career counseling, work readiness training, and fully integrated work experiences in the community. These services are delivered while youth are still in high school and establish the foundation for a seamless transition to individualized training, education, and employment.

What will the Mentor and Youth do?

At the beginning of this service, the Mentor provides a lot of support, showing the youth how to connect with and then engage in services and networks that will benefit them now and in the future. The Mentor gradually passes more of the responsibility to the youth until he or she feels confident enough to perform independently. By the end of this service, the youth increase in their self-determination and self-advocacy skills and are more able to independently seek out and participate in community-based, social and professional groups. This service typically lasts for 4-6 months.

What will the Mentor and Youth not do?

VR Youth Peer Mentoring is unlike other mentoring programs which may be familiar, such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. The VR Mentor is not allowed to participate in purely recreational activities with the youth with the sole aim of companionship. Mentors are not allowed to transport youth, take them out to eat, take them to the movies, "hang out", etc. Although the Mentor will establish a friendly relationship with the youth, the Mentor's focus is on teaching the youth how to independently acquire services and supports and become socially engaged in their community. If a Mentor who offers companionship is something the youth desires, the VR Youth Peer Mentor can help the youth seek and acquire services from other mentoring agencies that deliver that type of service.

Who can receive this service?

Youth who are VR eligible customers and are 14-24 years old may receive this service. This service is not available to students referred to VR only for
Pre-Employment Transition Services, using the STAR system.

How can a youth receive this service?

For questions or how to become a provider, please contact Vendor Registration at VRVendor@vr.fldoe.org or 850-245-3401.