Program Principles
Principle word cloud concept

Create and Sustain One-on-One Relationships
Research indicates that the single most important factor that fosters resiliency in high-risk youth is a caring and consistent relationship with an adult. By Your Side provides each participant in our program with exactly such a relationship with a highly qualified mentor.

Determined to Go the Distance
BYSM is committed to providing a mentor for our participants for a minimum 1 year.  We keep this commitment even when participant move or change schools within our service area.  No behavior or circumstance will result in a participant being “kicked out” of our program. It is only when the participant quits that we are forced to quit.

Recruit Devoted Mentors
Mentors are trained, devoted volunteers committed to sharing their experience and talent with the mentee. With their diversity, education, passion, and commitment, mentors are the heart of our program.

Maintain Manageable Numbers
Because each mentor works with no more than 2 participants, a mentor is able to give each participant his or her full attention for at least 3 hours each week, every week.

Connect All Areas of Participant’s Lives
Because the mentor spends time in each participant’s home, school, neighborhood, and community, they provide continuity in often unstable environments and serve as a link between the different facets of a participant’s life.

Create Meaningful Experiences
We design unique experiences for each of our participants so they can explore and develop their diverse talents and interests, expand their worldviews, and learn vital relationship and life skills. 

Set Achievable Expectations and Goals
Our participants will succeed. Because we believe in them, they will grow to believe in themselves. We nurture each participant’s progress with an individualized plan based on his or her unique needs, abilities and gifts.

Ongoing Program Evaluation

We are assessed by a professional third-party evaluator so we can highlight our successes and identify ways to make our remarkable program even stronger.