Youth Mentorship Partnership Program

Are you a community benefit organization providing youth behavioral health programs in Lancaster County? We seek to establish partnerships with organizations promoting and elevating mental well-being among the youth in Lancaster County. The Touchstone Foundation is collaborating with organizations in Lancaster County to implement a Youth Mentorship Initiative. This initiative aims to connect our youth with adult mentors from the community.

We're focused on:

Youth Mentorship

Mental Wellness

Trauma-Informed Care Training
for both youth and mentors

RSVP: Jan. 24 Info Session

Touchstone Foundation’s mission is to elevate the mental well-being of youth in Lancaster County.

At Touchstone Foundation, we have three main goals: 

  1. Build the talent pipeline by increasing career pathways for students, promoting mental health careers, and retaining licensed professionals in our community.   
  2. Increase access to mental healthcare, especially for the most vulnerable and at-risk populations, by removing financial barriers, promoting wellness activities, advocating for health policy changes, and addressing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion across all settings. 
  3. Create awareness and education about identifying the warning signs of depression among children and youth to prevent suicide, especially among high-risk populations such as youth who identify as LGBTQIA+, early-childhood trauma, and youth with alcohol and substance use disorders. 


The Youth Mentorship Partnership Program replaces our previous Children’s Behavioral Health grants program.

We paused our Children’s Behavioral Health grant cycle to reassess the current needs of Lancaster County youth regarding their mental wellbeing, after the PA Youth Survey for 2021 (released in April 2022) revealed sharp increases in youth mental health needs. From August 2022 through March 2023, we led a Youth Listening Tour, consisting of discussions with youth ages 14-26 in programs across the county. We also repeated our parent/caregiver survey about children’s mental/behavioral health to assess changes and family perceptions of youth mental wellness needs in our community.

To learn more about our youth listening tour, parent/caregiver survey, and needs assessment results, click here: Youth Mental Wellness Needs Assessment

Program Goals

An analysis of the youth listening tour and parent feedback survey revealed that many youths would welcome the opportunity to connect with a trained, safe, supportive adult mentor. Touchstone Foundation will partner with Lancaster County organizations who offer youth mentorship or are interested in starting programs to provide youth mentorship. Organizations seeking to partner with Touchstone Foundation must ensure that each adult mentor completes trauma informed training (online training also available) and Youth Mental Health First Aid training.

Now accepting applications!

  1. Letter of Intent opens January 1 and is due February 15.
  2. Request for Applications will open (by invitation) March 1 and are due April 15.
  3. Youth Mentorship Partnerships will be announced June 1 for a July 1 start date.

Program Guidelines

Touchstone Foundation is looking to support existing or implementation of youth mentorship programs that offer: 

  1. Trauma informed and trustworthy adult volunteers interested in supporting youth.  
  • Preference if they have past youth experience. 
  • Adult mentors should show evidence of completing trauma informed care training and/or Youth Mental Health First Aid training, at a minimum. 
  1. Each adult or group of adults would be paired with a youth or a small group of youth.  
  • Mentees can be recommended for this program by school, staff/parents/therapists, or they can sign up for it on their own. 
  • Parental consent is mandatory. 
  • The mentor and mentee(s) will engage in approved activities (e.g., hiking, biking, sports, e-sports, crafting, painting, etc.) while addressing mental health issues. 
  1. A relaxed relationship between mentor and mentee that can last long-term (1-5 years). 
  2. Guarantee safety first in all activities, ensuring child abuse prevention by pairing youth in small groups with more than one safe adult present at all times. 
  3. Use a flexible design to allow youth to modify and adapt activities to match their needs. 
  4. Provide professional & personal resources to be available for mentees.

Overall Objectives

Touchstone Foundation will fund organizations who offer youth mentorship programs to Lancaster County residents. The funding will support the organization in completing training necessary to offer effective mentorship. This training will equip mentors with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to provide trauma informed guidance to youth. Organizations will be supported with funding to complete training in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Trauma Informed Training.

Community Connections Micro-Grants Awarded

The application period for the Community Connections Micro Grants program has now ended. This program may reopen in July 2024, so please check back for updates.

We awarded the following grants focused on connecting the community to programs that positively impact the mental wellness of youth and their families. More awards will be announced soon.

  • Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County – “A Moment to Breathe” whole family approach for parent mental wellness
  • Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster – Mental Health Matters after school program supplies
  • Plant the Seed of Learning
  • Minding Your Mind – In school mental health education programs
  • Donegal Substance Abuse Alliance Corporation – Youth Wellness Programs
  • Hope Inspire Love, Inc. – Trauma-Informed Social Enterprise Job Skill Training
  • Lancaster Recreation Commission – Impacting Mental Health of Refugee and Immigrant Teens and Creating Connections through U-19 Soccer
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region – High School Bigs Leadership Program