Annual Mentoring Conference FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why is the conference held at an out-of-the-way location and isn’t near much of anything else?

A: Thanks to the generous donation of their conference center, Oracle provides an opportunity to pay much lower registration fees while enjoying a world-class technology center in a retreat atmosphere with high-quality catered breakfast and lunch (and don’t forget the yummy afternoon snacks!). Registration fees for comparable national conferences are anywhere from double to triple our rates. We appreciate Oracle’s support and pass that generosity down to you!

While it may take a little more effort to get there (public transportation in that particular part of Silicon Valley is severely lacking) or to stay there (fewer choices of lodging limits our ability for better rates), we hope that you will apply your registration savings to these logistics and join us to relax, refresh, and renew your commitment to this important work of helping more young people have safe and effective mentors. PLEASE NOTE: The Conference Center is only 5 minutes away from San Jose International Airport (SJC) and our conference hotel provides complimentary transportation both to and from SJC and to and from the Conference Center.


Q: Who should attend?

A: Mentoring professionals from all levels – from executive directors to development officers to program managers to program coordinators – are invited to participate in this interactive conference. In addition, youth-serving and youth development professionals, including those who work with after-school and specialty programs, would benefit from sessions at the conference. 


Q: What is offered?

A: The annual mentoring conference offers a variety of workshop session that provide intensive and specialized content in basic topics like Mentoring 101, Mentor Screening, Mentor Training, and Volunteer Recruitment, as well as more specific content related to other areas in youth mentoring. During our complimentary breakfast and lunch, you will be inspired by our two plenary sessions each day.


Q: Why should I attend?

A: The conference continues to be a source of inspiration and information to mentoring professionals and we strive to provide workshops that are useful and thought-provoking for the novice as well as those who have been in the field for years. Each workshop description lists its ideal attendee- new/early to the field, intermediate/experienced in the field, or advanced/expert in the field. By attending this conference, you will walk away with tools and strategies to improve your program, educate your staff, and better serve your community.


Q: What do past participants say?

“Very pertinent information and applicable to my agency. I’m excited to implement these tools!”

“I attend a lot of conferences and I have learned more today than all the conferences combined.”

“Very good conference, great info, helpful, practical, and presenters were very warm and helpful.”

“Thank you! This is my favorite conference and one I look forward to each year.”

“Very impressed with content at the conference.”

“I am new to the process and learned so much today!”

“Each year re-energizes me to be with professionals and hear great presenters. Thanks!”

“Very well-organized. I most appreciate the useful practical info/tools shared.”

“This is my fifth year and I find this conference always has ‘take-aways.’ Thanks for a great day!”

“I always recommend this conference to others.”


Q: How did the annual mentoring conference develop?

A: Friends for Youth has been a sponsor of the annual Northern California Mentoring Conference since 2000. It has grown over the years to include presenters and participants from not only across California, but also the U.S. and the world. Since 2006, the conference expanded to two days to include a selection of intensive and various workshops and keynote presentations, all based on improving participants’ knowledge of the field’s Recommended Best Practices.

FFY Short Description

Transforming the lives of at-risk youth through the power of mentoring