Sunburst Mentoring Program

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors.  An effective mentor understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic, and tuned into the needs of the mentee.

Today, most youth development organizations recognize the importance of a child having a caring responsible adult in their lives.  For children who come from less than ideal circumstances, mentoring can be a critical ingredient towards positive youth outcomes.

Matching the cadets with a caring, responsible volunteer mentor is one of the most critical components of the Sunburst Youth Academy experience.  The mentoring relationship begins in the Residential Phase (first 5 1/2 months) and continues for a full year during the Post-Residential Phase of the program.  Not only is mentoring important for the development of these youth, but for their continued success after the program.

Applicants are required to identify a mentor prior to starting the program.  Sunburst does not provide mentors for students nor do we maintain a mentor pool.   Mentors can be anyone who meets the eligibility requirements.   Teachers, coaches, counselors, neighbors, family friends, ministers are great sources to start with when looking for a mentor.


Mentor Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be at least 25 years old

  • Employed, in school, or retired

  • Same sex as student (exceptions made for certain professions)

  • Commit to the entire 17 1/2 month program

  • Must pass a Department of Justice background check.

  • Cannot be an immediate family member or live in the same household


How does a mentor submit an application?

Once a mentor has been identified, he or she must fill out the online mentor application by clicking on the following link:


What can a mentor expect?

Once a student has been accepted into the program, a case manager will reach out to the mentor to start the background check and schedule the mentor training.  All mentor training is currently being conducted online in order to maintain a safe, sterile environment for the students at the academy during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Mentors will communicate regularly with the students throughout the residential phase to develop and strengthen the relationship.  Zoom and telephone calls will be conducted between the mentor and mentee throughout the residential phase.  Together, they will 


4022 Saratoga Ave Bldg. #21
Los Alamitos, CA 90720