Wonder Mentoring Program


Wonder Mentoring Program
Improving the emotional & social well-being of children impacted by foster care

Wonder is a one-on-one mentoring program serving youth impacted by foster care, through connecting them with consistent, caring adults. Our mentors are there to listen, support, and guide each child through fun, age-appropriate experiences. Children who participate in the program are called “Explorers” and the adults who volunteer and serve as mentors are called “Guides.” Together, they participate in a journey of fun and exploration filled with Wonder moments. A Wonder Guide may be the most consistent adult a child in care has in their lives. There is a minimum of a twelve-month commitment to become a Wonder Guide. For more information, please attend one of our upcoming orientations or email wonder@ssyaf.org.

“Joining [The Wonder Mentoring Program] means making a commitment to another person and being the “fun” you wish to see in the world. It means nurturing a child who needs support and is growing every day. It means helping make a difference in someone’s childhood in a small, but important way.”
- Tish; Wonder Mentor; Matched 2 Years 

Celebrating Success

  • 82 youth and mentors were matched in the Wonder Mentoring Program in fiscal year 2023-2024.
  • Since the inception of the program, Wonder has matched more than 550 local youth with a mentor. 

Currently, we have 18 youth waiting to be matched with a mentor. 15 of these youth are looking for a male mentor of color. Join us at our next orientation to learn about becoming a Wonder mentor, email wonder@ssyaf.org for more information.


Leaders in Training

LIT members and coaches at a social gathering

The Leaders in Training (LIT) program is an initiative offered by Wonder. This is an additional match-based program specifically tailored for our teen youth. LIT members play a crucial role in the functionality and growth of Wonder, by contributing significantly to the success of the various hosted events and collaboration with other programs at Standford Sierra Youth & Families. 

The program entails active involvement of all LIT matches in activities such as leadership development skills, comprehensive training, annual camping trip planning, and community outreach. The aim of this program is to underscore the profound impact of mentorship on the development of our Explorers. This impact is reflected in the enhancement of self-confidence, self-worth, fostering a sense of belonging, and cultivating the ability to envision and plan for the future.