First Steps

Week after week broken families with angry, hurt teenagers enter into our court system. An increase in juvenile crime has prompted the Legislature to fund anti-crime pro-grams. Law enforcement agencies have developed special gang units. Counties have had to increase their support services. Communities have been challenged to get actively involved. Concern for young people and their families has prompted Judge Bill Gravell Jr., Justice of the Peace in Williamson County, to create the Mentoring Program, Thorns to Thistles.

Mentor 101

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development. Mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)".

Qualifications and Training

To qualify as a mentor, first you must have a love for young people. You must see them as God sees them, full of hope, potential and here on this planet for a purpose. You must treat them the way that you would want your own children treated and must be willing to commit one hour a week for a minimum of six months.

It takes time to develop trust in a relationship that will lead to positive change in the student’s life. There can be frustrating moments, but persistence pays off in the end!

Training is available for volunteers to more thoroughly explain their role as mentors. Training is held twice a year at our court, and can be taken off-site if necessary.


Each mentor relationship is unique, as everyone is unique. The structure, time, date, and place to meet will be completely up to the two of you.

The student might be given interesting opportunities to perform community services by participating in various activities such as community events, civic duty, church events, sporting events, educational videos, and much more.

These activities allow for opportunity where the mentor may provide a positive role model, encouragement, and teachable moments.


Mentoring is successful! Students have obtained their high school education, entered college, obtained jobs, restored relationships, become confident in themselves, and have obtained the ability to face life’s challenges because of the unconditional love expressed by their mentor.

For More Information
 TitleModified DateSize
Mentor Letter2/12/2020117.58 KB
Mentorship Application2/12/2020145.94 KB