Greenville Mentoring Collaborative grew out of a critical need to find mentors to serve the over 300 youth coming out of Greenville’s juvenile detention center each year. The Greenville County Juvenile Detention Facility Coordinator, Mark Calligaris, had difficultly finding organizations who were mentoring youth and more specifically organizations that were willing to mentor incarcerated youth. Barriers included limited program enrollment periods, funding instability and mentor attrition.
In March 2018, Mark began convening meetings with county mentoring programs to get a better understanding of available resources and to devise a plan to expand and improve mentoring efforts in Greenville. The initiative quickly generated interest and by October 2018, over 40 organizations, including Greenville County School District, Goodwill GoodGuides, Mentor Upstate, Phoenix Center, and United Way of Greenville were devoting time, space, and resources to respond to the need for more mentors and greater support for mentoring programs.
Today the collaborative consists of over 40 partners including direct mentoring service providers, juvenile justice and social services, educational providers and youth development organizations.