If you have questions which are not answered below, or you wish to know more about the program, please email us.
How do I sign up?
We have wrapped up accepting applications for the current cohort due to receiving a high number of applicants already. When the application is available for the next cohort, you can complete the application on the Application page on the pmac.info website.
Tell me more about this program
This program is designed to provide individuals from the autistic community opportunities to connect with others and build meaningful relationships in a safe, informal format. This is facilitated through mentors and mentees collaborating to practice personal and professional skills including networking, communication, self-advocacy, and lifelong learning, through positive feedback and support.
What are the requirements?
In order to be accepted into this program, both mentors and mentees will need to be 18 or older, identify as neurodivergent, commit to a minimum of three months, sign a code of conduct document, and agree to follow the by-laws of the program. Additionally, mentors will need to attend training and consent to a background and reference check.
Is there an age restriction?
Only that you must be 18 or older.
What is a peer mentor?
A peer mentor is someone who empowers others through sharing their own lived experiences and providing friendly support, education, and recreation opportunities to peer mentees on an ongoing basis.
What is a peer mentee?
A peer mentee is someone who seeks further development of skills, knowledge, and attitudes related to self-empowerment, self-compassion, and independence. Peer mentees will establish supportive, reciprocal relationships with peer mentors who wield experience or expertise in their specified areas of interest.
What are my responsibilities as a peer mentor?
Peer mentors will attend training, meet with an assigned peer mentee at regularly scheduled meetings, track meeting times, and maintain regular communication with PMAC leadership.
What kind of training do peer mentors receive?
The peer mentor training is designed to provide an overview of the responsibilities of mentors and a brief summary of the Code of Conduct document. Mentors will still be expected to read the majority of the Code of Conduct and Bylaws documents and agree to them before beginning the program. The training lasts about an hour and a half with time for questions. There will also be check-in opportunities for Mentors to discuss additional details of the program and progress with their Mentees.
What is the peer mentor training schedule like?
The peer mentor training was completed in Summer 2023. There is one mentor training session per month over the summer i.e. one session each in June, July, and August.
How long does each mentoring cohort last?
Each mentoring cohort will last 3 months. Participants will have the option to continue participating in subsequent cohorts.
When does the next mentoring cohort start?
The most recent cohort began in Fall 2023. The cohort will run from September 2023 through December 2023.
What happens if more mentees apply than there are mentors available in the current cohort?
Potential mentees who are not matched with a mentor will be placed on a waitlist for the current cohort. If a mentee is unable to continue with their current mentor, their mentor will be assigned to a potential mentee from the waitlist after the waitlisted potential mentee confirms they would like to participate.
What kinds of topics and interests can mentees learn about from mentors?
Interests include topics such as Fine Arts, Linguistics, Technology, Employment Readiness, Recreation and Leisure, Sports and Exercise, Food and Nutrition, Personal Relationships, Money Management, and Advocacy.
How did PMAC get started?
The initial idea for a peer mentor network began in conversation between Autism Society of Texas and Greenleaf NCC with Delaney Shiono about her ideas for creating a nonprofit called Lucky Stars that would connect people in the Central Texas neurodivergent community. Greenleaf NCC had also piloted a peer mentor training program that they wished to expand and work with community partners on. From there, additional self-advocates and community members with an interest in building the coalition joined on, including the ACCess Autism student organization at Austin Community College.
Can I join the PMAC leadership?
To be eligible for a leadership position, members must be in good standing with PMAC, have served in a mentorship role, have engaged in active communication with the current leadership, and be familiar with the organizational structure. Please see our Code of Conduct for more information.
How do I get involved with PMAC?
All PMAC participation is currently on a volunteer basis. If you would like to be a mentor or mentee, please follow the application directions detailed above under “1. How do I sign up?” See directly above for info on participating in the leadership team. We are open to expanding our list of community partners, so please email us if your organization wants to get involved.