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Mentor FAQs

Am I eligible to be a mentor?

You can find the eligibility criteria here

Am I a good mentor candidate?

If you have lived experience as an autistic person and like connecting with teens or young adults, you are likely a good mentor candidate. The most important thing is that you are interested in listening to, supporting, and connecting with an autistic young person.

How does AMP work?

AMP pairs autistic youth, ages 14 – 22, with autistic adult mentors (age 18+ and 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 do mentors do?

Each mentor provides support for an autistic teen or young adult (at least 3 years younger than they are) by meeting with them online once a week to hang out and talk, play games, and connect.

What does a virtual mentorship session look like and what happens during the session?

At each session, AMP mentors will join a Zoom meeting. The exact time and date of these meetings will be determined. The mentoring session will last one hour.

The meetings are hosted by AMP staff and consist of about ten minutes of group welcome, announcements, and ideas for activities or topics 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 check in with each mentor/mentee pair during their session together to see if anyone needs support. If you’re ever unsure of what to do with your mentee, AMP staff can help.

At the end of the session, everyone is alerted that it’s time to head back to the main room to fill out a short exit form so that AMP staff knows how your session went and 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 youth (age 14 – 22) 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.

Do you require proof of diagnosis?

No, and self-diagnosed autistics are welcome to apply.

Are non-speaking mentors eligible?

Yes. AMP is 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 mentor.

How do I apply?

To apply to be a mentor, please fill out the mentor application.  You can find it here.

How are mentors 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 youth who apply to be mentees. The Coordinator will look for a match for each mentee based on personalities, interests, and needs. If you are a match, you will be asked to participate in the program.

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 mentor needs to leave the program, and we will keep you in our mentor pool for the next program year if you’d like us to.

Mentors who are not active are welcome to attend any or all of our 4-6 Mentoring the Mentors virtual sessions, which are for mentors only and focus on various topics of interest such as executive function, advocacy in the workplace, and disclosure of diagnosis.

What else do I need to know?

  • Mentors are required to attend two 2 hour online training sessions that take place before the program begins.
  • 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!

NOTE: Before mentors can be matched with mentees, they must pass a background check.