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

Mentoring is an important focus at the YWCA Cortland. We currently have four 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 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 exercises, 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, build resiliency skills, and build self-esteem.

To enroll your child in Bridges for Kids please stop byBridges for Kids the front desk for an application or download one here. Bridges for Kids Enrollment Form

To become a mentor you must be 18 years or older, have access to a vehicle, be willing to commit to at least 1 year with the child, and attend training. If you would like to be a mentor download the application here. 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 service to the community. They are working to make smart life choices and become confident leaders.

COVID-19 Statement- Virtual 10 week sessions include weekly meetings to provide a supportive environment for girls navigating teen experiences. The group will have a project based activity to work on in safe ways and following guidelines for COVID safety. Girls will learn to boost self-confidence, reduce stress and anxiety, and build a sense of community.



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 and promote positive social interaction, sportsmanship and provide 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 753-9651.