AO, an ADI mentor shared this. “Lucy (not her real name) and I met in December of 2012 when she was six years old. Lucy, who is now a soon-to-be eighth grade graduate, is like a member of our family. Together, we enjoy just hanging out – joking around, having dance parties, cooking, watching movies, and doing arts and crafts. Lucy is creative, considerate, and caring. She has an excellent sense of humor and imagination. She is constantly coming up with funny stories and telling us all about the imaginary worlds she has dreamed up. My family and I truly enjoy spending time with her.
“Lucy and I are so grateful to ADI’s CHIP program for bringing us together. The CHIP Program Coordinator was clearly very thoughtful in pairing us with each other, thinking about our common interests and activities we might enjoy doing together. I really do believe that our friendship is one that will last for years to come. At this moment, Lucy is snuggling on the couch with my sixteen month old daughter watching a movie. I am so happy that they are becoming close friends and hope their relationship continues to grow in the same way that ours has over the last seven years.
“The major goal of the CHIP program, at least as I see it, is to ensure that the children in the program have a consistent, positive relationship with an adult. It really is that simple. While it may take some work to develop a strong relationship with your mentee – just like any relationship – the work is so worth it. And once it’s done, you get to enjoy an ongoing positive relationship that helps you get your mind off the everyday to-do lists we all have and enjoy having fun with a friend. The opportunity to be friends with Lucy and see the world through her eyes has been such a gift. I encourage others to consider serving as a mentor in the CHIP program to share in this rewarding experience.”
Children Having Incarcerated Parents (CHIP)
CHIP (Children Having Incarcerated Parents) Mentoring Program serves youth ages 6-18 who live in Baltimore City and have or has had one or both parents incarcerated. Children/Youth are matched with a mentor for one-on-one supportive relationships that we hope develops into long-term friendship or adult mentorship.
A few years ago CHIP Kids developed the motto “Together We are Strong.” It captures perfectly how CHIPs one-on-one relationship, monthly events, art nights, and summer camp strengthen the youth’s ability to face challenges in their life, increase the strength of fragile families and plant the seed of hope and opportunity in young minds.
CHIP starts with a phone call or email to our Program Coordinator. You can reach him at 410-889-5072 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Eli will collect some basic information and send out an application. This is true for both mentors and mentees. In fact, we are making this easier than ever! Below we have links for our online applications for both mentors and mentees. (link to google forms for both mentors(purple) and mentee (orange)
Once your application is received, our CHIP Program Coordinator will contact you (via email or phone) to set up a time for an interview. For mentees, you and your family will meet with the Program Coordinator for a quick introduction, welcoming you to the program. Meanwhile, mentors will be asked to go through a quick online background check. All costs related to this process are paid by ADI.
After we receive the results of your background check, the Program Coordinator will schedule a meeting between the mentor, mentee, and his/her family. This is the opportunity for the mentee and the mentor to meet in a comfortable environment, with the Program Coordinator facilitating the meeting. We will go over expectations, and guidelines that parents have set for the mentor and vice versa. If the mentee and the parent feel comfortable with our mentor candidate, we consider it a match and exchange contact information.
Now the fun part begins! Mentors and mentees should get together for a minimum of four hours per month. We prefer that these be weekly meetings, in order to build a consistent and friendly relationship. Our goal is to create a long term and casual friendship that lasts at a minimum of one year. Most relationships that last one year and continue on, without the support of our program, turn into lasting relationships.
We ask that mentors and mentees maintain a Memory Book, chronicling all the various activities done during their meetings.
The city of Baltimore is estimated to have over 4000 children who are eligible for the CHIP Program. We currently serve up to 50 mentees but we hope to add more in time and with the assistance of funding.
As you can determine from these statistics, with such high rates of children eligible for the programs, we do have a waiting list for children that apply. We provide group mentoring and other programs for youth who are approved for the program waiting for their one-on-one mentor.
We look forward to hearing from you!