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Professional Mentor

Friends of the Children-Portland

Job Description

Friends of the Children-Portland is a non-profit that is breaking the cycle of generational poverty by giving youth facing the most obstacles the ability to create a new story. We do this by providing youth in our program with a long-term, salaried, professional mentor, who we call a "Friend," from kindergarten through high school graduation, 12 ½ years – no matter what. Friends of the Children-Portland has been recognized in the Portland Business Journal as the Most Admired Nonprofit in Oregon for the past seven years.

Friends of the Children is an innovative work environment where we strive to provide the highest quality programming as the -demonstration site for excellence in mentoring for a network of chapters across the United States. To accomplish our mission of generational change, we demand more from ourselves as an organization. We seek to increase equity for all people in our organization while also grounding our work in the need for racial equity.

Position Overview


Our professional mentors ("Friends") work intensively to develop deep and sustained relationships with a roster of 8-10 youth. Friends spend at least 4 hours per week providing direct and indirect service to each youth. For every youth, a Friend will…

  • Develop strong rapport through positive regard, high expectations and consistency
  • Nurture and promote strengths, talents and abilities; emphasize physical and emotional well-being
  • Develop and track individual goals that are attainable and personal
  • Spend time each week in a variety of settings: one-on-one, in the classroom, group enrichment activities and outings in the community
  • Teach life and academic skills to support each stage of development
  • Invest in positive relationships with families, teachers and other adults in their lives
  • Model responsible behavior and boundaries

For every youth, a Friend will...


  • Set positive expectations
  • Spend time weekly: one-on-one, in the classroom, on "outings" in the community, and group activities
  • Nurture and promote their strength, talents, and abilities
  • Help ensure physical and emotional well-being
  • Teach life and academic skills
  • Provide enrichment activities
  • Model responsible behavior and boundaries
  • Develop positive relationships with families, teachers and others involved in each youth’s life
  • Fully document all youth service efforts
  • Participate in an ongoing reflection, observation, and evaluation process
  • Work directly with each of their youth in both one-on-one and in group settings
  • Work directly and indirectly collaborating and intentionally planning together with the other adults in the youth’s life

Core Job Accountabilities

  • Build high-quality relationships with youth based on respect, trust and compassion
  • Provide enrichment resources and activities that include opportunities for cultural awareness, community service and holistic wellness
  • Help individuals find their Spark: a talent/skill area of interest to each youth, which can strengthen positive self-esteem and confidence
  • Reinforce basic academic skills through tutoring and identifying other needed resources
  • Support youth success through developing and tracking individual goals, based on their interests and abilities
  • Support positive youth development through modeling, and promoting good decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Actively participate in 1:1 supervision, team meetings, training, and staff functions
  • Complete regular documentation of activities and assessments, including administrative paperwork and other responsibilities as needed

Essential Skills & Abilities

  • Experience working with children and youth from diverse communities
  • Collaboration with families and other caregivers, such as teachers
  • Creative activity and event planning, to foster community and promote learning
  • Experience setting goals and tracking progress toward outcomes
  • Commitment to a high degree of professionalism within a collaborative team
  • Strong organizational and time management skills; ability to be self-directed
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Basic computer and keyboarding skills (email, Microsoft Office, etc.)
  • Current driver’s license, good driving record and vehicle insurance
  • Must attain First Aid/CPR certification after being hired Must pass a pre-employment drug screen and background check


  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred, plus a minimum of one year of experience working/volunteering with youth. Associate degree or 75% completion of credits towards a Bachelor's degree accepted, with 3 years’ experience working with youth. Bilingual candidates are strongly preferred.


Starting annual salary range is $50,000 - $55,000.

Salary is determined based on education and experience, including current needs for bilingual candidates.



  • 100% employer paid medical, dental, vision for employees
  • 100% employer paid long term, short-term disability, and life insurance policy for employees
  • 401k discretionary match, 100% vested
  • 9 paid holidays, 2 paid floating holidays
  • 3 weeks annual vacation
  • Generous sick time policy
  • Tuition assistance
  • Professional Development
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Supplemental insurance options, including accident, critical illness and pet insurance


Additional Job Requirements

  • Maintain current driver’s license, good driving record, and vehicle insurance
  • Maintain First Aid/CPR certification
  • Transport youth in personal vehicle as required for mentoring activities (we reimburse for mileage)
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug screen and background check
  • Location: This position is based in Portland Metro Area.


Vaccination Requirement

All current employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID‐19, as mandated by the State of Oregon unless a reasonable accommodation is approved as a result of a medical or religious exemption.

  • You must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or exemption prior to start date. New employees must show they've had both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines (or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) and are 14 days past the final dose prior to start date.


Working Hours

This is a full-time, salaried, FLSA exempt position. Work hours vary but are generally 10:00am – 7:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday; flexibility is essential.

Due to the nature of the Friend’s role, the work hours are somewhat nontraditional and include late afternoon and evening work. We recognize that each Friend’s daily work schedule will vary due to the uniqueness of the role and the needs of the individual youth being served. Each Friend is expected to consult with their supervisor and exercise appropriate discretion in this regard.

During the school year, the general work week is Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday and Monday as days off. During the summer, and for spring and winter breaks, many Friends work a standard Monday through Friday work week. The Program requires that you provide direct and indirect service to each of your assigned youth, both in and outside of school, for an average of four hours each week, although how you accomplish that is at your discretion within established Program guidelines.

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