I think I want to be mentored. What do I need to know and how do I apply?
How does AMP work?
AMP pairs autistic youth (ages 14-18) with autistic adult mentors (age 18+ & at least 3 years older than their mentee) who meet online once a week from October to May, offering opportunities for participants to build meaningful connections with one another.
What is a mentee? What does being a mentee mean?
Visit our Mentees page to learn more about mentees and what they do!
What does a virtual mentorship session look like? What happens during the session?
If you are selected to participate, you will be matched with an autistic adult mentor and meet with them once a week for 1 hour via Zoom from October to May (exact time & date to be determined).
The meetings are hosted by AMP staff and consist of about ten minutes of group welcome, announcements, and ideas for activities or topics that mentors and mentees may want to engage in. Next, each mentor/mentee pair goes to an assigned breakout room to talk, play games and connect for the remainder of the hour. AMP staff are available during every meeting and will regularly check in with each mentor/mentee pair to see if anyone needs support.
At the end of the session, everyone is alerted that they should head back to the main room. When you get to the main room, you will fill out a short exit form about how your session went so AMP staff can follow up on any questions or issues.
Who will I be matched with?
If you are selected for the program, you will be matched with an autistic adult at least 3 years older than you from the Twin Cities 7-county metropolitan area.
Why do participants have to be from the Twin Cities 7-county metro area?
AMP is a small organization that began offering an in-person program serving youth from a single high school in Bloomington, MN. During the pandemic, we pivoted to online programming with our Bloomington participants. We are now in the process of expanding to serve more young people. We are growing gradually by limiting the area we currently serve to the Twin Cities 7-county metropolitan area.
Why am I requested to participate in the research study and what will the research involve?
Our research partners from the University of Minnesota are collecting data to gauge the effectiveness of the program. Their findings will help us ensure we are effectively supporting our participants and guide us to future program improvements.
You will be interviewed by research staff and asked to fill out questionnaires about yourself before the program starts and at the end of the program. You will also be asked about your experience in AMP at the end of the program.
Why are you requiring proof of diagnosis?
The University of Minnesota research study requires proof of diagnosis to strengthen the findings of the study. Once the study is complete, self-diagnosed autistics will be welcome to apply.
Am I eligible to be a mentee?
You can find the eligibility criteria for mentees here.
Are non-speaking youth eligible?
Yes, we are excited about AAC users participating. Please reach out to us so we can discuss the most effective way to support your AAC use if you are chosen as a mentee.
How do I apply?
To apply to be a mentee, please fill out the mentee application.
How are mentees selected for the program?
Once you submit your application, our Program Coordinator will determine if you are eligible. If you are, they will send you a set of questions about your background, interests, etc. After you’ve submitted that material, they will contact you for a Zoom or phone interview to get to know you better.
The Program Coordinator also interviews all adults who apply to be mentors. They look for a match for you, based on your personality, interests, and needs. If they find a good match, you get a description of the mentor and are asked if you’d like to participate in the program.
NOTE: Before mentors can be matched with mentees, they must pass a background check.
What can I do if I’m not selected for this year’s program?
In rare cases, you might not be selected because you are not a good fit for the program. Most of the time, the reason you’re not selected is because we don’t have a good match for you. In this case, you will be considered an alternate who may be asked if you’d like to fill a spot if a mentee needs to leave the program. If you are interested in being a mentee in a future program year, we can keep your application on file and you can re-apply without having to redo the entire application the following year.
What else do I need to know?
- Mentees are required to attend a 2 hour online orientation session that will take place in September before the program begins. There will also be a shorter training/reflection session midway through the program that mentees are required to attend.
- Occasionally, guests from the autistic community are invited to join AMP via Zoom to present on different topics and take questions. All AMP participants are invited to attend!