FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about the Mentoring Program and Financial Literacy.

Mentoring Program

  1. What will I do as a mentor?
  2. What are the benefits or mentoring?
  3. How much time does it take?
  4. What kind of training and support will I get?
  5. Who can be a mentor?
  6. When and where does mentoring take place?
  7. Who are the mentees?
  8. How long is the commitment for being a mentor?
  9. Do I have to provide financial support for my mentees?
What will I do as a mentor? 

Mentors provide support and guidance in developing life skills and setting goals. Services of the volunteer mentor will vary depending on his/her talents and resources and the needs of the mentee. These are some needs that have been met by mentors: 

  • Life skills coaching, guidance and just being a friend to talk things over with. 
  • Advice about how to dress for success in the workplace.  
  • Advice about work place etiquette. 
  • Advice about planning and preparing affordable meals. 
  • Help in organizing the family finances and budgeting. 
  • Help with job applications, interviewing skills and finding a better job. 
  • Help finding resources in the community including clothing and household items.

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What are the benefits of mentoring?
Mentoring changes lives! Through our best practices Mentoring Program our clients are able to gain the skills and tools necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. We have seen our clients given hope, encouragement, and the will to succeed by the support and friendship of volunteer mentors. Mentoring can release a family from the cycle of poverty and create a ripple effect that will strengthen others, create an equitable community, and prepare the next generation for successful lives.

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How much time does it take?

Being a Pathfinders mentor only takes about 3-4 hours a month; most contact occurs over the phone. Sometimes, all it takes is a little advice, and encouragement to make a difference. A mentor contacts his/her mentee weekly, and they meet in person at least once a month.

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What kind of training and support will I get?

The Pathfinders Staff provides a training session that is fun, interactive, and informative. Also, we provide a Mentor Handbook for each participant. On-going support is provided by the Pathfinders staff, and you will find great Toolkits full of resources right here on our website. One of our staff members is just a phone call away if you have questions. We also have Mentor Mixers where mentors from around the county regularly gather to meet and share success stories and to discuss strategies. In addition, we have events for mentors and their mentees to attend together including the annual Christmas Party and financial education workshops.

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Who can be a mentor?

Pathfinders mentors come from all walks of life, are all ages, and span a variety of economic and educational backgrounds.  Our clients simply value having someone to talk to, someone to listen, and someone to care about their future.  If you know how to set goals, stick to a budget, or look for a job, if you are willing to learn and walk with your mentee in his or her journey toward self-sufficiency, you will make a great mentor!

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When and where does mentoring take place?

The time and place are set by the mentor and mentee. Many choose to meet in public places such as a restaurant, park or library. Pathfinders also provides events for mentors and their mentees to attend together including the annual Christmas Party and financial education workshops. Visit the Event Calendar for our list of events. 

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Who are the mentees?

Participants in the Mentoring Program are referred to Pathfinders by our community partners.  They are of varying ages and ethnicities, and all live in Tarrant County.  We serve individuals and families struggling to overcome the bonds of poverty, homelessness and reentry after incarceration.  Many of our clients are single mothers transitioning off welfare, others are recently employed low-income young adults, and still others are women returning to their communities after incarceration in a Tarrant County jail-based substance abuse treatment program.  All have voluntarily enrolled in the Mentoring Program with a desire to change their circumstances and become self-sufficient.

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How long is the commitment for being a mentor?

Mentorships typically last for one year, though some clients may be ready to move on before that time and others may wish to continue with the formal mentorship a bit longer as they work toward a specific goal.

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Do I have to provide financial support for my mentee?

It costs nothing to be a mentor. As a matter of fact, it is Pathfinders policy that mentors may not give money as a gift or as payment for services. Pathfinders provides free training and support from staff, and mentoring is a non-financial service.  All we ask is for your time, energy and commitment to making a difference in someone’s life. Mentors may not imply debt to the families or individuals they serve in return for the support they have received through the Mentoring Program.

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Financial Literacy

  1. Who can participate in the financial literacy program?
  2. Where and when are classes and sessions held?
  3. Is there an opportunity for an individual discussion of personal finances?
  4. Does Family Pathfinders provide credit counseling?
  5. What topics are included in financial education and coaching?
  6. What is the difference between financial education and financial coaching?
Who can participate in the financial literacy program?

Our programs are offered to clients who are referred to Pathfinders by our Community Partners. 

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Where and when are classes and sessions held? 

In an effort to meet the needs of our clients, our classes and coaching sessions are held in several locations and at various times.  Interested participants are invited to call us to get the times and locations of the next class or coaching session. 

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Is there an opportunity for an individual discussion of personal finances?

Coaching sessions provide an opportunity for clients to discuss personal financial questions and goals and to learn about financial resources that are available. Classes provide basic financial information in an interactive setting, giving students the opportunity to share with and learn from each other. Pathfinders’ teachers and coaches are not certified financial counselors nor are they consumer credit counselors. They are trained financial educators with a passion for personal financial management.     

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Does Pathfinders provide credit counseling?

We answer basic questions about credit issues and give resources for reviewing your credit history and credit score.  Please note that our coaches are not certified consumer credit counselors. 

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What topics are included in financial education and coaching?

Our classes and coaching sessions cover basic information about budgets, saving, banking, borrowing and credit. 

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What is the difference between financial education and financial coaching?

Both our coaching sessions and classes offer basic information about financial topics. Each class or coaching session focuses on one subject: budgeting, saving, banking, borrowing, or credit. During the 90 minute coaching sessions our financial coaches respond to the financial concerns and questions of participants as well as teaching one of three financial topics.  Our two hour financial classes are offered as a five class series or as stand-alone classes.  Classes are taught using the FDIC “Money Smart” curriculum with PowerPoint presentations, class activities and opportunities for students to share with and learn from each other.

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