ACHI Youth Mentoring Program
The inception of the ACHI program, the Hebrew word for My Brother, began with a young man who met the parent of an adolescent in the community, concerned about her son, who she described as bright and funny but socially isolated. The young man and adolescent met and formed an alliance, initially cultivated by the parent, evolving into a mentor/mentee relationship. The parent and young man approached Schoke JFS with the idea of a “big brother” program, recognizing a need in the community for such a program.
ACHI serves boys between the ages of 15 and 18, who are socially isolated and or bullied, not suffering from any major learning disabilities or spectrum disorders. The boys are matched with their mentors, young men between the ages of 19 and 25, who are undergraduate or postbaccalaureate. The mentors have been vetted and trained by Schoke JFS professionals. They are thoroughly evaluated with appropriate background checks and trained in communication and sensitivity skills. Parents are initially involved in meeting their son’s mentor and approve all activities, such as biking, movies, dining, cooking , fishing and any other interests the mentee might want to pursue. The young men meet bi monthly for a six to twelve month period, building a trusting and consistent relationship that helps to model behavior, build confidence, self-esteem and maturity.
As stated by ACHI co-founder, Brian Cahn, “these relationships validate kids feelings, accomplishments and experiences with a series of small and teachable moments that in the end, make all the difference.”
The Grecia and Ron Gross Jewish Family Life Education Program is supported by a legacy gift from the Gross Family.