The Next Step Program is designed to help students succeed in school and in life. A “mentor” is a trusted guide that can be counted on to be a safe place to encourage, support, direct, and help another be the very best that they were created to be. Whether helping students with their homework and studying for tests, or navigating the tricky thoughts and emotions of a teenager’s life, our mentors are trained to know how to help the students we work with discover, develop, and maximize their God-given potential so that they can experience life to the fullest in their lives.

The Next Step Program recruits volunteers who are 18+ years of age, and completed both a volunteer application and background check. All mentors go through an interview and orientation process to ensure the safety and quality of our program. Our goal is to work with 4th – 12th grade students, with our elementary programs being primarily “tutoring based”, while our junior high and high school programs are much more flexible. All “matches” are with same gender and can vary from one-on-one to small group settings. Mentoring takes place during lunch or after school, on school campus, but off-site locations such as Starbucks or McDonald’s may be approved of.

For more information, please contact Ken Sylvia at 209-522-9568 x127 or at

See forms below:

General Mentoring Brochure           

Permission Slip for Mentoring Program

Suspected Child Abuse Form      

Log for Mentors      

Love Languages     

Animal Personality Assessment      

Learning to Cope Handout


Mentoring Stories:

Julie is a junior who started the program very shy. She would hardly speak to me and would rarely contribute to the group…Now she has opened up so much she has started initiating conversation and she has taken initiative in her own family to spend more time with her family and try to understand them. Julie started the program unable to participate in sports because of her grades…and she just made the Varsity Cheerleading Team!!  I'm so excited for her!!     ~Rachel Garcia

Bryce has continued to go to church on her own, she has been praying for her mom and now her mom is coming around and trying to be a better parent. Bryce said ' I started praying for her and she is actually starting to act like a mom.' they will hopefully be moving to a nice ranch and even though Bryce is in that stage of questioning God she is seeking answers and starting to ask the right kinds of questions.     ~Rachel Garcia

One good story I would have for this year would be Johnny. He is a freshman at Valley Charter High and started the program this year. It was a very rough start for him and I this year, we got off to a slow start but as the year went on he started to reach out more. A Teacher at the high school took special interest in Johnny and wanted to see him succeed. She asked me to come and help mediate a few student teacher meetings with both of them and these past closing weeks he has really stepped up and is becoming a very good student. He is staying after school to get all his work caught up on and is on the robotics team. He seems to really be stepping it up a lot and he has a small boost in his confidence as well.     ~Travis Guzman

I began meeting with Maria in March. She had a history of suicide attempts, cutting and depression. The day we first met, she was wearing a black sweat shirt, sweat pants and was very with-drawn. This was her usual outfit and she continued with it for the first 3 weeks we met. At first she didn't want to talk about what she was going through. As we began to know each other, she opened up. A few weeks ago she met me in the office at CVHS, she was wearing jeans, a cute girly pink blouse and even had her nails done. I haven't seen her wear her old outfit again. Maria has goals now and even shared with me that she would like join the police force and eventually be a detective. It has been such a blessing to see her grow.     ~Vicky Patino

One of my girls had a very difficult relationship with her father when I first started meeting with her.  Recently she has been reporting better family time and a better relationship with her dad.  Her family has been going places together, and over the spring break she went to her dad's work to learn more about what he does.     ~Lianne Ong

  • Isaiah Herrera- Director of Next Step Mentoring

    209-522-9568, ext. 127