What is Mentorship? 

Hello Neighbor’s mentorship program is special because we match new neighbor families rather than individuals. We are interested in the holistic health of the family, and increasing their comfort living in and navigating the City of Pittsburgh. Mentors celebrate the joys and challenges of their mentee family’s lives, participate in cultural exchange, and help with a variety of tasks.

  • Who is a mentor? Mentors are families, couples, or individuals who live in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Who is a mentee? Ideal mentees are immigrant or refugee families who have been in Pittsburgh between 6 months and 5 years and have an authentic desire to have an “American Friend”.

What countries are mentees from?

Our mentees come from around the world! In the past, we have had families from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, Bhutan, the DRC, and more.

Can my kids be involved?

Yes! All of our events are family-friendly, and we make an effort to match families with children of similar ages.

What is the time commitment for being a mentor?

Mentors commit to spending 10 hours/month with their mentee families for the duration of the 8-month cohort. While most matches choose to remain friends after the cohort ends, there is no requirement after the initial commitment. In addition, we encourage all participants to attend the 3 all-cohort events organized by Hello Neighbor.

What if I don’t live in/near Pittsburgh?

Hello Neighbor’s mentorship program is in person in Greater Pittsburgh. We are only able to accept local applicants.

What is the cost of participating in the program?

There is a $200 program fee for mentors, which is collected after you are accepted into the program. The fee goes to support program activities and mentor training. Mentors are never expected to provide significant financial support for mentee families.

*The program fee should never be a hardship or a barrier to entry. Scholarships are available for mentors who need them.

What kind of support can I expect from Hello Neighbor?

Hello Neighbor will be there with you for every step of your mentorship journey. The program begins with an in-person orientation training, and an in-home introduction facilitated by program staff. We have regular check-ins throughout the cohort, and are available to answer questions, offer support, and lend a listening ear. We utilize interpretation services to address serious concerns with mentee families when they arise, and make referrals to a variety of social service programs in the area.

Can I request to be paired with a family of a particular background or language?

We make matches based on a variety of factors - including particular interest in a language or region.

How does the matching process work?

Our matching process is an art, not a science. We hand-pick matches based on a variety of factors, including location, interests, age of children, and cultural background.

How do you select applicants for mentorship?

The most important quality in a mentor is excitement about and commitment to making an authentic connection with their mentee family. Kindness, flexibility, and openness to cultural differences are qualities that we look for in applicants.