Become a Mentor

Every Peninsula College Fund Scholar is carefully matched with a trained, college-educated mentor who serves as an ally, advisor, and supporter throughout college and beyond. Mentors provide academic, social/emotional, college and career guidance for about one to two hours per month.

Our scholars consistently cite mentoring as the most impactful part of The Peninsula College Fund’s program. This long-term commitment, and the deep relationships it builds, is a highly rewarding experience for both scholars and mentors.

Interested in learning more? View this brochure explaining the mentoring program and hear from Ashley, a PCF alum, describe the importance of the mentoring relationship.

PCF Mentor Recruiting Process

  • Step 1

    Learn More

    To learn more about becoming a mentor for PCF, interested candidates should review our Mentor Webpage, hear from a scholar about the mentoring experience, and read the FAQs on our website.

  • Step 2

    *Complete a Mentor Application

    PCF uses the application to learn more about mentor candidates, and once approved, to match mentors with scholars. In addition to short answer questions, candidates are required to submit two professional references.

    Apply October 2023 - April 2024

    Deadline to apply: April 12, 2024

  • Step 3


    Selected mentor candidates are invited to attend a one hour virtual interview to confirm interest and eligibility.

  • Step 4

    *App Review & Background Check

    PCF reviews all application and interview materials. Selected candidates are contacted to complete a background check.

  • Step 5

    *Update with Final Status

    After two reference checks and a background check are complete, PCF informs candidates of their final mentor status. If approved, candidates are considered "match-eligible" and added to the queue of PCF mentors ready to be matched.

  • Step 6


    Our mentor recruitment window is from October through April, however, mentors and scholars are matched in May-June, the summer before a scholar begins college.

Not all candidates are invited to interview or selected as "match-eligible" mentors. All decisions are confidential.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will the entire application & interview process take?

    The application takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete and submit. The interview is approximately 45 minutes. The entire process depends on several things – when references submit their reference forms, when the interview is scheduled, and how long it takes to submit the background check. From start to finish, the entire vetting process can be as quick as 1-2 weeks.

  • How long will it take to complete the online application?

    The application should take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. We ask mentor candidates to express their interest in becoming a mentor and share their values so we can make a good match with a scholar.

  • What are the eligibility requirements?

    In order to be eligible to apply, mentor applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years, preferably 5 years, post-graduation professional experience. You do not need mentoring experience however we do ask mentor candidates to approach their mentoring practice with cultural humility and an understanding of positionality.

  • What is the time commitment?

    Mentors commit to provide 1-2 hours per month throughout the scholar’s undergraduate years, until they graduate. Some scholars may take longer than 4 years to graduate.

  • Why is the application process so long?

    PCF staff wants to ensure that mentor volunteers are committed to supporting first-generation college students throughout their entire undergraduate career and that mentor applicants’ values align with the PCF mission.

  • I’m having IT troubles. Whom do I contact to troubleshoot?

    If you are having trouble submitting the application, please contact smarterselect support on the page. If you have questions about the application itself or the vetting process, please contact

  • When will I be matched with a student?

    Students are accepted in our program as they are graduating from high school. Matching takes place in late May so that mentor-mentee pairs have the summer before freshman year to get to know one another and begin building a relationship. PCF hosts a New Mentor/New Scholar Orientation in early June for training and as an opportunity to meet your scholar for the first time.

  • Can I provide a background check I completed for a different org/job?

    At this time, PCF only accepts background checks completed through Sterling Volunteers. If approved as a mentor, you will be sent an email directly from Sterling Volunteers to complete and submit your background check. You have the option to donate to PCF to cover the cost of your background check.

  • What kind of references do I need to provide?

    We ask that all applicants provide two references, one personal and one professional. It is most helpful if you provide contact information to individuals who can speak to your work with youth and young adults. We also recommend you let your references know to expect the request so they can be completed in a timely manner, as reference delays may delay when we can process your application.

  • When will I be notified of my final status?

    Once your application is reviewed, PCF staff will reach out via email if you have advanced to the interview round of the vetting process. Once your interview is complete, PCF staff will send you an email if you have advanced to the background checks round. Finally, if references and background check clear, you will be notified via email if you have been approved as a mentor and you will be welcomed into our mentor cohort. We will share more details about your scholar once you have been matched in late May.

  • Why are decisions confidential?

    It is the responsibility of PCF to ensure the safety and well being of each mentee. At times, this may result in the disqualification of volunteer applicants for a variety of reasons. Per PCF policy, PCF reserves the right to keep decisions for mentor acceptances confidential.

  • How are mentors and mentees matched?

    We match mentors with scholars based on a variety of factors including majors in college, career interests, hobbies, gender preferences, and other information shared on student and mentor applications. Matching a scholar and a mentor is not a perfect science however we do our best to make a match we think will be long-lasting and is why the application and interview are vital components of the matching process.

  • What are you looking for in a mentor?

    An ideal PCF mentor is someone who is dedicated to building a meaningful and supportive relationship with a young adult who is the first in their immediate family to pursue a 4-year college degree. We expect all mentors to practice cultural humility and understand their positionality when interacting with a first-gen scholar from an historically underrepresented community.

    You do not need previous mentoring experience and we do provide mentor training and support.

  • If I am referred to the mentoring program, do I have a better chance of becoming a mentor?

    All applications are considered equally regardless of referrals. However, for marketing purposes, it is helpful for PCF staff to know if you have been referred to the mentoring program. Some of the best mentoring relationships are from referrals!

  • If I am an alum of PCF, do I need to apply?

    Yes, all individuals interested in becoming mentors must submit an application and go through the vetting process. We have a separate application process if you have already been a PCF mentor.

  • If I was a mentor in the past, do I need to reapply?

    Yes, if there has been a gap of time of a year or more since your last PCF mentorship, you will be required to go through the new mentor application and vetting process. If you are currently mentoring a senior student that will be graduating at the end of the year, there is a renewal application and process you are required to complete. The application and interview are condensed for returning mentors.

  • Will all match-eligible mentors be matched in the spring?

    In short, no. In order to ensure that all students in the PCF program get matched with a mentor who meets each of their unique needs, PCF often accepts more mentors than students. PCF aims to have a diverse pool of match-eligible mentors and if we do not find a good fit, we will ask you to remain in the mentor pool until we feel there is a good match.

  • Do I get a choice of whom I get matched with? Do I get a say?

    We do take certain preferences into consideration such as gender and personality traits, however we cannot guarantee you will be matched with a student that you already know.

Success in College and Beyond