Serving and Empowering New Americans Since 1918

Mentoring Program

Refugees have been uprooted from their homes and displaced due to war and violence. They may be unfamiliar with basic tasks such as grocery shopping, riding public transportation and dressing for the weather. They may be in need of a conversation partner or a confidant or even a friendly face to help them integrate into their new community.
An IICONN mentor serves as a supportive and reliable liaison between the refugee and the Bridgeport community. As a mentor, you have a unique opportunity to assist refugees as they navigate their way to self-sufficiency in their new homes.
What types of things do mentors do?
· Cook a meal together
· Be a language partner
· Attend school events and parent/teacher conferences
· Learn about free local events (check your local newspaper)
· Explore the grocery store; teach them how to bargain shop and use coupons
· Ride the bus and learn the routes
· Create a budget and discuss strategies for personal finance
· Search for jobs, develop a resume and practice interview skills
· Teach basic computer literacy skills (computers are available for public use at most local libraries)
· Do anything that is fun!
What are the expectations for mentors?
· Make a 3-month commitment to the Mentor Program. You may choose to recommit once your time is complete.
· Meet with your mentee once a week for a minimum of one hour.
· Keep the confidentiality of your mentee.
· Set goals with your mentee and help him/her achieve them.
· Partake in activities and events with your mentee.
· Teach your mentee basic skills necessary for living in the USA.
· Keep a log of the frequency and nature of your mentee meetings and report back to IICONN.
· Attend monthly Mentor Meetings / Forums
To apply for an opportunity to become a mentor, please email your resume & cover letter to: Helen DeKorne at, or visit