Our Y is pleased to begin offering the Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program at the Greater Waterville YMCA at the Alfond Youth Center. Reach & Rise is a national YMCA program that is committed to youth development by nurturing the potential of kids and teens to help them achieve and reach their full potential.


The Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program began in 1992 through the YMCA of San Francisco. The program was designed so that mentors could more effectively understand and respond to emotional, behavioral and mental health needs that youth experienced. The program was later piloted in Baltimore, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Nashville and Oakland where research has shown that the program has allowed youth to better express their feelings, improve school grades, have higher expectations of themselves, get along better with others and become more involved with extracurricular programming. As part of a national expansion beginning in 2013, the Greater Waterville YMCA is one of 38 Y’s to be offering the program.


The Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program is designed for youth ages 6-17 who live in communities challenged by poverty, crime, truancy, single-parent households, among other social issues. Youth may be struggling with low self -esteem, poor academic progress and social and/or family relationships, among other challenges. Research shows that youth facing such struggles are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring, dependable adult. The Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program connects youth with adult mentors from the local community for 12-18 months. Adult mentors are trained to provide safe, healthy and meaningful 1:1 relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will have opportunities to participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities. Matches will also have access to the Alfond Youth Center.


Mentors are volunteers from the community who are at least 23 years old with diverse cultural, educational and professional backgrounds who wish to make a positive impact on young people and to give back to their community. Mentors commit to spending 1-3 hours each week for a year with their mentee. The Y is committed to ensuring a safe and caring environment for its youth and will conduct face to face interviews, background screenings and finger print checks as well as provide 15 hours of paraprofessional counseling training over the course of roughly 5 weeks for the mentors before beginning the matching process.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor please contact Program Director Ryan Kneeland at   or by calling 207-873-0684 ext. 254

To download a mentor application click here



The Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program serves young people ages 6-17 in Greater Waterville experiencing challenges such as low self-esteem, poor academic progress, peer difficulties, family conflict, and other challenges. Youth in our program come from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and family backgrounds.

Young people are referred to the program in a number of ways:

*From school counselors, teachers and principals

*From community agencies such as social welfare and counseling agencies

*From YMCA programs

*From YMCA community, friends, family and/or self-referrals

If you know a child/teen who may benefit from the program, please contact Program Director Ryan Kneeland at  or by calling 207-873-0684 ext. 254


To download a referral form click here

Together we can nurture and support the great potential that all youth possess!


The Reach & Rise Therapeutic Mentoring Program is in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine       

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