Did You Know?

98% of our matches last 6 months or more.

91% of our matches last 12 months or more.
(Compared to 38% nationally)

About the Fighting Back
Mentor Program

The Fighting Back Mentor Program is a school-based mentoring program established in 1994 through the Fighting Back Coalition. Our mission is to support the youth of South Santa Barbara County by providing them with a caring positive mentor who can give them the academic, social, and emotional support they need to grow up healthy, happy, and resistant to negative influences such as drugs and alcohol.

We serve between 110 and 130 active mentoring matches at any given time, and make new matches throughout the school year. The Mentors meet with their Mentees for a minimum commitment of one hour per week for one year, but we encourage matches that continue longer and will support a match until the Mentee's graduation from high school.

Our dedicated and passionate staff provide individualized case management support and ongoing trainings for our Mentors, while also planning a variety of free enrichment events and activities throughout the year.  The Mentor Advocates are available between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, by phone at (805) 963-1433, and via email at mentorprogram@cadasb.org.

Who Are the Mentees?

The Mentees in our program are youth whose ages range between 8 to 14 years old (4th - 8th grade). They are students in the Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta school districts, and have been referred to us by teachers, parents, guidance counselors, and other community organizations. Students are referred to the Fighting Back Mentor Program for a variety of reasons, such as low academic performance, family problems, difficulty connecting with peers, low self-esteem, and negative behaviors or attitudes. Our motivation is to match these kids with a caring Mentor who can provide a trusted positive role model outside of their family whom they can turn to for advice and support, and who can influence them to engage with their community and invest in their future through academics.

Who Are the Mentors?

Mentors can be anyone from the community who is at least 18 years old and wants to make a positive difference in the life of a child. Mentors should have a positive outlook on life, a desire to help a child in need, and a willingness to share their life experiences. At the Fighting Back Mentor Program we are fortunate to have such a diversified group of individuals; from psychologists, counselors, fireman, engineers, carpenters, artists, writers, musicians, retirees, and college students who bring their different backgrounds and life experiences to help guide the youth in our program to a better future. Mentors must go through a screening and training process before being matched with the mentee of their choice. You can find more information about this process here.

The Mentoring Relationship

Mentors begin meeting with their mentee on the mentee’s school campus, usually during lunch, although afterschool meeting are possible as well. Once a Mentor and Mentee have established trust and feel comfortable meeting off school grounds they are welcome to do so after getting a parent permission form signed. We plan and host numerous free events and activities for mentors and mentees throughout the year, including: trips to local museums, art galleries, and local businesses; excursions to the Santa Barbara coastline; oil-seep tours; nature hikes; beach parties; potlucks in the park; our annual summer barbeque; and so much more!

Why Mentoring Works

In a local research study, it was shown that youth who have a positive adult role model are more likely to succeed academically as well as personally. >READ MORE

Program Goals and Outcomes:

The goals of the program are to increase mentees' social skills and academic achievement and improve relationships with their peers and family.

The Mentor Program Staff

The program is staffed by a full-time Program Director, and a full-time Program Coordinator.