“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”  ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Mentoring is an essential focus at the YWCA Cortland. We currently have three mentoring programs that are free to all participants.

COVID-19 Statement regarding mentoring: We are here for you during this unprecedented time and provide alternate options for mentoring. We understand that uncertainty and stress can strain relationships and create anxiety for individuals, so we are here for you, your family, and your community to navigate this time of inevitable stress in a way that fosters resilience and emotional closeness.


Bridges for Kids is an individual mentoring program that matches a trained adult volunteer with youth ages 5-12 who are looking for a trusted adult to help them succeed. The mentor meets with the child once a week. Mentors provide the one-on-one attention so crucial to building self-esteem in our local youth. In addition, they offer enrichment activities designed to increase the child’s self-confidence, resiliency skills, and background knowledge. Activities range from cooking nutritious meals at the YWCA to sledding in Beaudry Park. The importance of education is stressed, as is healthy exercise, creative outlets, and new experiences such as museums and sporting events. The program provides monthly family activities for all enrolled families, as well as assistance with school supplies, holiday dinners, and gifts.

COVID-19 Bridges for Kids alternate program offers a Pen Pal Mentor to be matched with your child. A mentor will be trained and taught about how to be a productive pen-pal mentor. Your child will receive letters weekly and be asked to write that mentor back to build a relationship. The goals of the Pen Pal address self-confidence, building resiliency skills, and building self-esteem.


To enroll your child in Bridges for Kids please fill out the form below or stop byBridges for Kids the front desk.

Bridges for Kids Enrollment Form

Become a mentor: 

To become a mentor you must be 18 years or older, have access to a vehicle, be willing to commit to at least one year with the child, and attend training.

If you would like to be a mentor, fill out the application below.

Mentor Application

For questions about Bridges for Kids, email bridges@cortlandywca.org


GEMS is a support group for girls who would like to be part of the community in a fun and unique way. The girls share experiences, learn to stay healthy, do creative projects, and serve the community. They are working to make smart life choices and become confident leaders.

For more info, call 607-753-9651.


Kids Fun Club is a once-a-week program that provides organized gym activities here at the YWCA. SUNY Cortland students volunteer to run this program while promoting positive social interaction and sportsmanship, as well as providing positive role models for the children.

COVID-19 Update: Kids club is currently on hold.

For more information on the current schedule, contact the front desk at 607-753-9651.