Become A Mentor

Our Mentorship Programs focus on long-term care and are designed to extend tangible support to those on their path to self-sufficiency, while also providing community.

We believe that real hospitality is found not just in the initial welcome or moments after arrival, but in walking alongside for years to come. We have seen how long-term presence has the power to transform people’s lives, turning strangers into neighbors and neighbors into family.

Family Mentorship

When refugees arrive in Oregon, they are faced with significant challenges learning how to rebuild their lives in a new country. Many of our new neighbors have shared that the process of transitioning to life in a new country is often more traumatic than the pain of being displaced.

Resettled families often arrive without family, friends or community members that they know. Most families also arrive with few possessions, do not yet speak English, and have a limited understanding of how to navigate systems, including healthcare, education, and housing. We believe that refugees shouldn’t need to navigate this process alone.

Our Family Mentorship Program pairs mentors in year-long relationships with the goal of empowering resettled families and individuals to self-sufficiency. Mentors provide connections to community resources and may also provide English language learning, job assistance, finding affordable housing, and more.

Mentors also add to the community that people who are resettled are missing from their home country, offering their time and friendship. As our newest neighbors press into rebuilding their lives, they’re surrounded with people who care.

A family mentor works as part of a small team or as an individual to come alongside a resettled family or individual. Volunteers give a one-year commitment, gathering 3-4 times per month. Mentors are paired based on geographical location, with the highest need being in outer SE, NE, Gresham, and Beaverton areas.

Since 2015, we have paired over 650 volunteer mentors with families and individuals through our Family Mentorship Program. Over 85% of families and mentors stay connected after the first year, and we are continually told by previous recipients that Family Mentorship was the most significant factor for vulnerable families seeking self-sufficiency.

Potential volunteers attend a Volunteer Orientation, fill out an application, and agree to a background check.

Youth Mentorship

Refugee youth have often experienced firsthand trauma and grief before arriving in Oregon, including the loss of their home, community, dreams, and all that is familiar to them.

Experiencing such things at a young age disrupts the child’s development, triggers their instincts of self-preservation, inhibits their imagination, and results in a sense of constantly being misunderstood and rootless. While technology provides various avenues to stay connected with family and friends abroad, electronic relationships only leave resettling youth feeling further isolated from the tangible community around them.

At Refugee Care Collective, we believe every young person deserves a positive environment to learn, grow, and discover who they are. Research shows that as newcomer families strive to become self-sufficient, one of the most important factors in the development and health of refugee youth is a committed, consistent relationship with at least one adult.

Through our Youth Mentorship Program, volunteers serve as role models and advocates for a junior-high or high school student over a 12 month period, meeting 3-4 times per month. Mentors work one-on-one with young newcomers to process their feelings and experiences, provide safe space for creativity and exploration, foster a sense of belonging and community, encourage their perseverance in the face of difficulty, and celebrate their successes.

Examples of how mentors support refugee youth include:

  • Introducing them to new experiences
  • Providing academic support and navigating higher education opportunities
  • Building their proficiency in English
  • Helping them navigate friendships with their peers
  • Supporting them to achieve personal goals

Since 2017, we have paired more than 105 resettled youth with mentors through our Youth Mentorship Program, and have seen countless students graduate high-school, navigate college admissions, build friendships with their peers, and build upon their own strength and resilience as they dream about and plan their future.

Potential volunteers attend a Volunteer Orientation, fill out an application, and agree to a background check.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations

Dates & Times:

Tuesday, August 13th from 5:30-7pm – RSVP here.

Thursday, September 12th from 12-1:30pm – RSVP here.


Orientations To Be Held Virtually Over Zoom:

Link will be emailed upon RSVPing. (Only sign up to attend one orientation.)


If you are interested in mentoring and are unavailable to attend one of the our upcoming orientations, please fill out the Volunteer Form below.

If you live in or near SE Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, or Clackamas, there are refugee families and youth waiting now for your support.

Fill out our Volunteer Form below to get started.