The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Living a Purposeful Life as a California Mentor


Living a Purposeful Life as a California Mentor

Being a mentor is one of the greatest things one can do for another.  The reason people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds choose to become mentors is unique for each family.  Some have a big house and want to share it.  Some are empty nesters or seniors who want to give back.  But the one thing they typically have in common is a big heart.

California Mentor works to find nurturing, supportive homes for their clients, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Those who open up their homes are called “Mentors” and receive ongoing support as well as a competitive monthly stipend.  Sharing your home and watching an individual’s progress can be tremendously exciting and have immeasurable rewards.

Case in Point

Yusuf became a mentor and welcomed Carmen, a woman living with intellectual and developmental disabilities into his home for what they both anticipated would be a short stay. Now Carmen and Yusuf consider each other family, and Carmen is thriving.  Since moving in with Yusuf, Carmen has made great strides, in part because she has benefited from living in a smaller environment where she gets one-on-one attention. “I like coming home because it’s calmer here,” says Carmen.

 With Yusuf’s encouragement, Carmen embraced her Native American heritage and began making jewelry, a skill she learned from her mother. Carmen likes to shop at local craft stores, buying the beads she uses in her jewelry. She also gives her jewelry as gifts to special people in her life.  She has received such positive feedback from everyone who sees her work that she is even considering selling her jewelry at local fairs. 

What Does Being a Mentor Mean?

Doing something so rewarding, so vital, so important with your life that there is no way to measure the blessings that heap up around you;  

Working in the greatest profession there is--Life.  It means your home will be filled with love and tears and laughter. It means giving of yourself, offering a smile and responding to love. It means helping another to reach their full potential.  

Most mentors find the experience to be one of the most rewarding of their lives. “I’m lucky to have Carmen in my life,” says Yusuf. And from the smile on her face, you can tell Carmen feels the same way, too.

For more information on how to become a Mentor, call our Program Recruiter at 707-544-5282 or visit us online at