When you drop in,
fewer kids drop out.

Share your knowledge, time and work experience with a kid and you'll both gain something important along the way. Join the biggest mentoring project in the region's history and show our local kids that anything's possible when they know the education and career opportunities that await.

Read about our Partner Agencies.

See when Mentor Training is available.

Watch the Stories of Mentors and Mentees.

About Be a Middle
School Mentor

Be a mentor at the school for an hour a week and not only will a child gain critical real-world experience, you'll see the joy that comes with making a difference.

  • Kids with mentors:
  • - get better grades
  • - are less likely to get involved with drugs
  • - are 86% more likely to go to college

  • You already have what you need:
  • - a positive attitude
  • - experiences to share
  • - a big heart and sense of humor

Training is provided through the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Mentors routinely report they "get more than they give."

Why 6th Graders?

6th graders are at a crossroads, so this program is designed to help those in Pittsburgh Public Schools understand how many options they have when they stay in school and involved.

No longer "little kids" and not yet teens, 6th graders are faced with a world of decisions. Research proves that mentors can influence good choices. Like staying focused in school. And staying out of trouble. And making plans for the future, including college and a career.

Many 6th graders view the world through a lens the size of their daily lives. By exposing students to people and careers beyond their everyday experiences, they're open to a broader range of opportunities for their own futures.

Learn more about the positive effects of school-based mentoring here.

Program History

Kids with mentors are more likely to succeed in life.

This simple truth is inspiring Be a 6th Grade Mentor, the largest mentoring initiative in our region's history.

Caring adults can help them develop career aspirations that propel them toward academic proficiency and ultimately success in careers and life. Be a Middle School Mentor is the first step in achieving this dream.

A project of United Way of Allegheny County, in collaboration with the Youth Futures Commission, Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, this ambitious initiative counts of the recruitment of hundreds of mentors, Western Pennsylvanians from all walks of life, representing all kinds of careers, to spend time with local students. By meeting with a 6th grade student at school, for just an hour a week, mentors are exposing students to a world of possibilities. And by volunteering time in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, we're letting kids know that they've got a future. For staying in school. For going to college. For having a career. For having a successful life.

Partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools

This program, Be a Middle School Mentor is in eleven local middle schools.

Click on each to learn more.

To be a 6th grade mentor, apply in one
of these ways.

Fill out the online form.

Apply by Phone at 412-456-6770

Thanks for joining the largest mentoring initiative in our region's history.

How to be a mentor

You've already got what you need to be a mentor. Experience to share. A positive attitude. A caring disposition. And hopefully, a sense of humor.   It's all pretty simple. On top of that, training is provided, so you'll have tools that will make it even simpler. Join us and see why mentors routinely report that the'get more than they give.'

Mentor 'job description'

Volunteers in The Be a Middle School Mentor initiateve provide mentoring services to sixth grade students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Mentors are assigned to a United Way partner/mentoring agency and a specific school. Mentors are screened by the assigned mentoring agency. Supervision is provided by the assigned mentoring agency.

Mentors commit to visiting their assigned mentee at the student's school during appointed Mentor Hours (see table). In addition, mentors agree to maintain supervised contact with their mentee over the summer months for a total mentoring commitment of at least 12 month. Mentors use a guidebook of activities to build a positive relationship with their mentee. Most of the session will be spent listening, interacting and in general, being a supportive, caring adult to their assigned mentee. Mentors may in some cases, provide academic coaching and other support when appropriate.


  • To be eligible to Be a Middle School Mentor, the volunteer must:
  • 1. Complete and submit all necessary clearance forms, Act 33 and FBI background check*
  • 2. Submit an application.
  • 3. Complete a interview with their assigned mentoring agency.
  • 4. Be approved by the mentoring agency and the assigned school.

*Clearances will be reviewed by the mentoring agency and Pittsburgh Public Schools staff. Final decisions on suitability are the responsibility of the partner agency and the assigned school.


Mentors commit to the following: 45 minutes/week of quality time spent with the mentee from October - May; At least monthly supervised contact with mentee during the summer; Completion of three (3) hours of pre-match training, including Mentoring 101 and Cultural Awareness; Pittsburgh Public Schools building orientation; Participation in monthly supervision with assigned mentoring agency; Participate in ongoing trainings.


    • Call

    • Write

    • Be a 6th Grade Mentor
    • c/o United Way of Allegheny County
    • 1250 Penn Avenue
    • P.O. Box 735
    • Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0735