Bianca & Claudia

Based in Washington D.C., Learning Life is an educational nonprofit devoted to spreading learning in everyday life beyond school walls.  Learning Life’s flagship program, the Citizen Diplomacy Initiative, engages lower-income American families – starting in Washington D.C. – in live internet dialogues and project collaborations with lower-income families in other nations to democratize diplomacy and nurture more caring and capable global citizens. Through the dialogues, the families collaborate to accomplish community-based international projects that nurture their interests, knowledge and “civic skills” (research, writing, photography, video, public speaking, etc.).    Mentoring is a component of CDI intended to deepen participating children’s international learning while offering them a caring adult role model they can share with, and learn from.

What Our Mentors Do

Each volunteer mentor commits to meeting with their mentee (a DC child 6-18 years) at least once per month for 3-5 hours, usually on weekend mornings or afternoons, ideally for at least one year.  Mentors must also communicate monthly with Learning Life staff about their past and planned mentee meetings.  Meetings should involve fun learning about the world, whether through discussion, documentary or film viewing, tours of international nonprofits, museums, embassies, festivals, or else.  Whenever possible, the learning should be related to the CDI projects (e.g., countries, topics) in which the mentee is or has been involved.

Mentors and mentees are matched by gender.  Prospective mentors should participate in one or more CDI events to meet our James & Paulchildren and identify a good mentee match.

The Mentors We Are Looking For

Prospective mentors should be caring, patient adults who like working with children.  Prospective mentors should have at least a bachelor’s degree, or be in college to complete one, and should have volunteer or work experience in education, youth and families, community development, and/or international affairs.  Experience living outside the USA and speaking a foreign language are pluses, but not required.  Having a car is a strong plus.

To Become a CDI Mentor

Prospective mentors submit their resume for review, have a face-to-face interview with Learning Life staff, and should be willing to pay for a criminal background check (cost: $20).  Please email us at if you have any questions, or to submit your resume.