Veteran-Led Youth Mentoring Program
WHAT IS CHARACTER DOES MATTER?
The hallmark program of TMF, Character Does Matter (CDM) powered by UA Freedom, is a youth mentorship program led by veterans and families of the fallen volunteers that helps develop character and leadership skills in young adults. Grounded in the evidence-based field of Positive Psychology, CDM uses presentations, activity-based courses, group discussions and small group mentoring to inspire youth to lead with character in and outside of the classroom.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH MENTORSHIP
With one in three youth reporting they do not have a positive mentor in their life, it’s critical to create opportunities where they can learn the value of character from others. Due to their personal experiences and inherent ability to lead, veterans and families of the fallen are poised to fill that role. Our youth mentoring program has been shown to positively impact behaviors and attitudes among school-aged youth in areas including self-reflection, confidence, goal setting, leadership, service and more.
DELIVERING YOUTH MENTORSHIP IN UNIQUE WAYS
CDM is delivered by volunteer Veteran Mentors in several different but equally impactful ways: individual presentations; longer, more in-depth leadership courses; small group mentoring, and community service engagements where Mentors and youth serve alongside each other to fill pressing needs in communities. In all cases, curriculum and interaction with Mentors help youth explore individual character strengths and how they can apply them in their homes, schools, and communities at large.
First, more than 55% of veterans feel disconnected from civilian life.
More than one in three young people - 16 million young adults - report they’ve never had a positive role model or Mentor.
Both groups improve their overall well-being through engagement, stronger relationships and developing purpose through serving others.
Bring CDM to Your Students
CDM is free to bring to your school or youth group thanks to generous supporters of TMF. Request a CDM Mentor for your school event below.
FINDING RENEWED PURPOSE AS A MENTOR TO YOUTH
To date, thousands of veterans and families of the fallen have volunteered their time to train and serve as Mentors to youth across the country. Developing character in future generations has provided them with renewed purpose and a sense of community. It’s also given them a chance to serve alongside youth to fill pressing needs in communities through service.
Start your journey as a volunteer Mentor by following these steps:
Create a Spartan Development Center Account
To get started, first create a free account in our Spartan Development Center. This online portal will be where you access training and other resources to help you impact youth in your community as a CDM Mentor.TAKE THE FIRST STEP>
Complete CDM Mentor Training
Becoming a CDM Mentor is a multi-step process that includes 2-3 hours of online training, completing a volunteer background check and attending a 90-minute live session with a TMF staff member.
Connect with Local Youth
Once you’ve completed all the required training steps, you’ll meet your local TMF staff and they’ll help you connect with local schools and community groups to begin your journey as a CDM Mentor.
Additional Programmatic Support From
This program is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project® to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families