Professional Mentor- He Sapa (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation)

Pine Ridge, SD

Friends of the Children- He Sapa has recently expanded to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We are currently seeking an extraordinary professional to embark on a new career journey as a mentor/relative (Friend) for our Friends of the Children-He Sapa's newest location Friends of the Children-Oglala Lakota Nation. Friends of the Children is a nonprofit that is impacting generational change by empowering youth through relationships with professional mentors. We do this by providing children facing the most obstacles with a long-term, salaried, professional mentor, who we call a “Friend,” from kindergarten through high school graduation, 12+ years – no matter what. 

At Friends of the Children, we put children first and use our values to change the way the world treats and views youth facing great barriers. These values align with the Indigenous extended kinship model and worldview that children are sacred.  As a Friend you will nurture long-term relationships from a foundation of love, acceptance, and culturally-informed practices. Do you want to help rural and Indigenous youth discover their limitless potential, by fostering their internal resiliency? Are you ready to help build relationships within the communities of our youth and families to strengthen social networks and provide bridges to new opportunities?  If so, the impactful role of a Friend might be for you.

 Are you ready to use your skills to make an impact in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation?

Job Description:

We are currently seeking a mentor (Friend) for our Childhood program (Kindergarten to 5th Grade) to serve as a positive adult role model to elementary children and develop loving, caring, and sustained relationships with each child. For each child, a Friend will set positive expectations; nurture and promote each child’s strength, talents, and abilities; help ensure physical and emotional well-being; teach life and academic skills; provide enrichment activities; and model responsible behavior. A Friend will fully document activities and participate in the ongoing evaluation process. Friends will work primarily one-on-one with their children, while also building trusting supportive relationships with parents/caregivers. A Friend must know, understand, honor, and support the organization’s mission, vision, values, and principles, and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function along with the Lakota values.

Essential responsibilities:

  • Develop and sustain a long-term, caring, protective, and loving relationship with each child  
  • Spend time with children, one-on-one
  • Partner with parents/caregivers to provide concrete and social emotional supports for the family. 
  • Set realistic expectations and goals based on each child’s strengths, talents, abilities, and needs.
  • Teach life skills and help develop a talent/skill/area of interest with each child
  • Deepen cultural connections for youth through incorporating Indigenous knowledge in programming 
  • Provide enrichment resources and activities that include opportunities for cultural identity development
  • Develop positive relationships with families, teachers, and others involved in each child’s life
  • Reinforce basic academic skills
  • Understand and model the Indigenous concept of “being a good relative”
  • Maintain a 40-hour work schedule that includes afternoons, evenings, and weekends (normal working  days are Tuesday through Saturday with Sundays and Mondays off)
  • Maintain spending within budgetary guidelines
  • Complete, distribute, and collect time summaries, activity journals, short-term plans, expense reports, and evaluations  materials accurately and in a timely manner
  • Attend and actively participate in team meeting and staff functions
  • Maintain First Aid/CPR certification
  • Provide information and support to the development and executive team on related activities
  • Fulfill other responsibilities as requested
  • Be a good relative and role model to youth and their families 

Additional qualifications:

  • Two-years of experience working with children
  • Willingness to commit for a minimum of three years
  • Connection/Experience with Indigenous culture and lifeways
  • Advocate to secure additional resources, opportunities, and services for youth as appropriate
  • Basic knowledge of Indigenous historical trauma and trauma/ healing informed practices
  • Assist with systems navigation in schools to secure conditions for optimal academic success
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work respectfully with sovereign tribal nations, tribal departments, and tribal communities
  • Ability to develop trusting relationships with children, families, teachers, and others involved in each  child’s life
  • Ability to work independently and as a team player
  • Ability to manage several concurrent issues and solve problems effectively
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • A sense of humor is a plus


  •  $45,000 to 50,000  annually  


  • 3 weeks paid vacation. Comprehensive health, dental, vision, and long-term disability. 401k with 3% match.


  • Professional


  • 2 or 4-year degree
  • Alternatively, at least seven years progressive experience working with Indigenous children and families will be considered in  lieu of a college degree


  • Director of Programs and Partnerships

Offices will be located in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Applications without cover letters will not be considered; please use this as an opportunity to convey why you want to be the Professional mentor for He Sapa chapter at Friends of the Children!

Friends of the Children is growing rapidly as communities across the country are experiencing the power of how “One” changes a child's story: One Friend. One Child. 12+ years. No matter what. #ThePowerOfOne

To know more about Friends of the Children go to:  

Friends of the Children - is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends of the Children provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. Friends of the Children hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.