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PeerCorps Mentee

PeerCorps builds a bridge between the city and suburbs by providing middle schoolers with meaningful volunteer opportunities. Serving alongside high school aged mentors, PeerCorps middle schoolers (or mentees) can sign up to serve for our Fall Cycle at food justice or education justice sites.

Click here for more info and to sign up!

PeerCorps High

Ask and you shall receive, high schoolers! PeerCorps Detroit is launching a brand new program for students in grades 9-12. If you’re looking to keep your love of service going, join us for PeerCorps High. Sign up for monthly programs around the city that will include service, learning, and community building. Look for more information in October. 

Get more info here.

PeerCorps Mentor

Interested in service, leadership, and community? Sounds like you’re ready to be a PeerCorps Mentor. If you’d like to be a Mentor, contact [email protected] today.

Interested in joining PeerCorps Detroit?

PeerCorps Detroit Mentors and Mentees choose one service site per cycle. Sites may change from year to year, but here are some examples of past partners:

  • NewLeaf
  • Kibbutz Detropia
  • Bethel Community Transformation Center
  • Georgia Street Community Collective
  • Project Healthy Community
  • Giving Gardens at Yad Ezra
  • Brilliant Detroit
  • Coleman A. Young Elementary School

You can read a bit more about our PeerCorps Detroit sites HERE.

Upon completion of the program, Mentors will receive a small stipend.

Mentors commit to participate in a full year of programming that includes:

  • Week-long Gesher Mentor training and orientation in August
  • 2 – 3 monthly days of service at a designated site with B’nai Mitzvah Mentee (2 hours + transportation)
  • Attend Mentor-specific learning days called אלו ואלו / elu v’elu / or multiple voices to learn about pressing local issues through a Jewish lens
  • Aid in Mentee recruitment for your service site
  • Be an active and engaged role model alongside your Mentees
  • Attend the MLK Weekend of Service and other community-wide service days like J-SERVE
  • Participate in the closing program
  • Plan and lead Mentee Orientation for incoming Mentees and their parents

Mentors begin their program year with Gesher Week at the end of August. This immersive week of living, working and exploring together in Detroit provides an opportunity for Mentors to develop skills, self-awareness, critical thinking, and to deepen their understanding of Tzedek through connecting Jewish values to learning about self and society.

Gesher Week attendance is required to participate in the PeerCorps Mentorship program.

Mentees (6th-8th grade students) participating in PeerCorps are expected to bring excitement and enthusiasm for learning, meeting new people, and actively engaging in their service project. Mentees commit to a full cycle of service (Fall or Spring) that includes one orientation day (with parents) and 6-8 site visits. Mentees choose one service partner sits that will meet on the same day of the week throughout the duration of the cycle.

Our service projects are in community organizations that thrive on volunteers who bring their whole selves, including their creativity and follow through to the work. We’d like for Mentees to think about and begin to understand service in the context of Jewish tradition and becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

As a parent of a PeerCorps Mentee, we expect that you will attend the Mentee Orientation at the beginning of each PeerCorps cycle to learn about the mission and goals of PeerCorps, and about your child’s chosen service site.

PeerCorps will provide transportation for all the service days (from a carpool location). We expect that you will drop off and pick up your child on time, and notify PeerCorps staff if you child is unable to attend a site day. We hope you will encourage and enable your child to participate to their full extent in their cycle of service. We also expect that you bring any questions or concerns directly to PeerCorps staff.

PeerCorps is generously subsidized by Repair the World Detroit funders. The fee for the Mentee program (6th-8th graders) is $200 per cycle, or $350 to sign up for a full year.

The first line of supervision of Mentees are their high school-aged Mentors, along with a Repair the World staff person, Fellow, or other designated adult at each site.

PeerCorps is truly a unique Jewish experience, specific to the congregations involved as well as the region we live in. Our training for mentors and mentees is called “Gesher” – the Hebrew word for bridge. We believe that we are helping to build and strengthen an important bridge between our congregations and our community partners in Detroit. PeerCorps engages middle schoolers and high schoolers from the city in extremely meaningful service work in Detroit.

Here are a few testimonials from our past Mentors:

“I think of the city in a whole new way. It is it’s own world with so much life inside of it.”

“We can be a part of a movement that helps make a difference.”

When we asked the mentors what sets this program apart from others they’ve experienced they answered that it was meaningful, and thought-provoking. They enjoyed the unknown aspects of it, the people they met, the atmosphere of respect, being given responsibility. Mostly, they said that they felt a part of something bigger than what they had expected.

Absolutely not! While each service opportunity and Mentor learning will include reflection on relevant Jewish values, we welcome anyone to participate.

All questions, concerns, comments, etc. can be directed to [email protected]

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