Become A Mentor

  • Sherwood Elementary Sherwood Elementary York Chester Middle
    “When you give your time, experience, and wisdom to young people, you are sowing seeds of pride, confidence,
    and accomplishment.”
    Thomas Dortch, Jr., author of
    The Miracle of Mentoring
  • Mentoring is a supportive relationship between a school-aged child and a caring adult volunteer. Through regularly-scheduled visits to the school, the mentor provides support and guidance and serves as a role model and wise friend to the student. Through mentoring, students gain valuable life skills, self confidence, and appreciation for goal-setting and achievement. 
    Requirements to become a mentor in Gaston County Schools 
    • Submit an electronic volunteer application at
    • A criminal background check is required when the application is submitted.
    • Register and attend a one-hour training and orientation class. 
    • Select a school where you would like to serve as a mentor. You may discuss options by calling (704) 866-6329.
    • Commit to meeting regularly with your mentee during the school day. All interaction takes place on school grounds during the school day.

    Volunteers can enter the mentoring program at any time during the school year.  For more information or to reserve your spot at a mentor training, call Valerie Yatko, Director of Business and Community Partnerships, at (704) 866-6329 or email her at

    Group training sessions for businesses, community groups, and faith-based organizations are available upon request.

What a few of our mentors have to say ...

  • "I am a mentor because it has given me the opportunity to invest in a young man who has lots of potential, but needs guidance and direction. It has been a wonderful opportunity to give back to the schools."

    "I mentor because it is how I am able to invest in the community that invested in me."

    "I am a mentor because the success and well-being of our young people is the future of society.  If all I ever do is help a person to succeed and make a lasting impression which changes that person's life, then I feel like I have succeeded. If they win, we win!"

    "I am a mentor because there are too many children that do not have the love and support they need.  My small gift of time and presence can give a child a better chance to succeed."
  • J’Shawn Leach

    J'Shawn Leach of Hunter Huss High School is the Class of 2023 recipient of the Paul Fuller Mentoring Scholarship.

    The $1,000 scholarship is presented each year to a deserving senior who has been involved in the Gaston County Schools mentoring program. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.  

    Take a moment to read our feature article on J'Shawn.