August 23, 2022

Empowering Youth: A Life-Changing Mentorship Program Begins

Friends of the Children - Phoenix Launches Inaugural Mentorship Cohort in Roosevelt School District

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[Phoenix, AZ, August 23, 2022] Friends of the Children - Phoenix—the newest addition in a nationwide network of 25 local chapters of national youth mentorship nonprofit, Friends of the Children—has launched its inaugural youth mentorship cohort at John F. Kennedy School, one of three partner schools in the Roosevelt School District in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Friends of the Children - Phoenix worked closely with teachers and counselors at the J.K Kennedy School to identify children who would benefit from long-term, one-on-one, professional mentorship with trained mentors—also referred to as Friends.

On August 9th, the first two Phoenix chapter mentors—hired in July 2022—met with John F. Kenned teachers, counselors, administrative staff, and the children they will be mentoring for the first time. This marked the beginning of the Phoenix chapter's long-term youth mentorship program. The Friends of the Children - Phoenix mentors will provide full-time support to mentees—for some, from as early as age 4—until the end of their high-school careers.

The Friends of the Children - Phoenix mentorship program is distinguished from other local mentorship programs by its unique and evidence-based model, of which a key component is long-term sustainability. By cultivating and maintaining long-term nurturing relationships with youth who face multiple obstacles, Friends of the Children - Phoenix mentors will serve as anchors of stability for mentees from early childhood through adolescence.

Each Friends of the Children - Phoenix mentor will work with up to 8 mentees. Mentors will meet mentees each week for a minimum of three hours and help mentees overcome systemic childhood adversity by advocating for their unique interests, goals, and dreams and teaching them life-changing social and emotional development skills.

Friends of the Children - Phoenix—the first Friends of the Children chapter to ever be opened in the state of Arizona—was opened in January 2022 in Maricopa County. In April 2022, the Phoenix nonprofit announced the recruitment of its Executive Director, Joy Klein, a longtime education professional with over 12 years of experience in nonprofit leadership roles in Arizona.

“The special thing about the Friends of the Children model is that it actually works. Passion is a key component of the success of our programs. But passion alone isn’t enough—we need a strategy that works. We now have that.” Klein commented. “The model has been researched, tested, and the strategy refined over the past 30-years. Now we recruit passionate and talented mentors and teach them a strategy that works—we are equal part head and heart. The work and dedication of our mentors has real and lasting impacts on the lives of their mentees, which is why we are so excited to bring this program to Phoenix.”

Over the next few months, Friends of the Children – Phoenix will continue working with partner schools in the Roosevelt School District to implement and expand its youth mentorship programs.

About Friends of the Children:

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit with the mission of impacting generational change by empowering underserved and at-risk youth through long-term relationships with professional mentors from kindergarten through high school—12+ years, no matter what. Friends of the Children has expanded its unique model nationwide, with a total of 25 locations in the United States. Visit to learn more.