Be a Mentor, Inc. seeks to help children and youth from challenging and vulnerable circumstances develop the assets necessary to make healthy life choices, set realistic goals, act with determination and ultimately build vibrant successful lives for themselves through direct contact and relationships with caring and positive adult role models.

Be a Mentor, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.  Details, including financial information, are posted on Guidestar

What we do

We have over 25 years of proven success in recruiting, screening, and training adult mentors.  Our Mentors spend a minimum of 1-2 hours a week with their mentee for a full year.  We have found goal setting to be a helpful activity and work with the Lifeplan Institute to provide mentors with the training and tools to have those conversations with children of all ages.  Learn more

Our proprietary cloud-based software, Volunteer Management System (VMS), tracks mentor status (background clearances), the relationship status (mentee activities and milestones) and success metrics.  No other known system is as suited to the needs of school environments.  Not only does VMS provide multiple benefits to schools, the proceeds allow us to reach more at-risk youth in need of mentors.  Learn more

Unlike other self-contained youth-serving organizations, like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, we focus on providing mentors.  Thus we partner with organizations serving youth who need mentors and possible sources of funding.  Because our VMS reduces the cost in the mentor vetting process and manpower to manage matches, together, we can quickly scale to reach more at-risk youth. Partner

Our Founder

Robert D. Goetsch began his career with the US Navy in Nuclear Submarine Navigation Computer Systems.  He then started Mandis Consulting Services, a company that sold computer systems and software customization.

After selling Mandis in 1991, he served on the education committee of his local chamber of commerce.  The committee launched a project at a high school to help students prepare for the work world by having them run a business.  Community members were asked to serve as coaches in the running of the student-run desktop publishing company.

Inspired on how 1:1 coaching from adults transformed students well beyond this class, he put his career on hold for two years to form a nonprofit. 29 years later he is still dedicated to providing adult mentors for at-risk youth.

Board of Directors

Chairman Thomas Thurston, VP, Wells Fargo (Retired)

President Robert Goetsch, President & CEO, Be A Mentor, Inc

Secretary Neha Banthia, Head of Installment Loans – Product and Strategy, Avant, LLC

Treasurer Elfride Groh, Accounting Manager, Felson Companies (Retired)

Member William E. Mullins, President, Workforcedge, LLC

Member Delvon Jones, Director and Chief Technologist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Member Anoop Grover, Managing Director, Grover Estates



Started as “Students in Business” motivated by the desire to improve the caliber of our founder’s potential future workforce.  The initial program was designed to guide academically challenged students in creating a small business.  After discovering the ones who thrived were those who developed relationships with adult advisors, efforts were redirected to facilitate 1:1 youth-adult relationships.


Launched “Be A Mentor Project,” connecting 40 youth with adult mentors. Officially became Be A Mentor, Inc. expanding to manage numerous mentoring projects with cities, counties, schools and other agencies.


Collaborated with Intel to launch an employee-focused Email mentoring program. Intel employees connected with students via Email to provide support on specific classroom projects. Developed our Volunteer Management System (VMS), a cloud-based tool to process and manage volunteer applications, monitor matches and retain data on activities.


Our VMS tool began to help other agencies with their mentoring programs.


Our VMS tool began to radically change how school districts manage volunteers.


Collaborate to form the East Bay Mentoring Partnership to serve 300 youth.  Our VMS serves as the central management system.


Developed a cost-effective collaboration model that pulls together mentoring agencies to share resources and reach significantly more vulnerable youth.


Launched the Mentorship 2020 Foster Youth Initiative.


We are a leader in advancing the mentoring agenda.  More than 3,000 youth have been paired with caring adult role models.


Our goal is to connect half the 60,000 foster youth in California with adult mentors