Mentor (Direct Care Worker)

Required Qualifications:

High School Diploma, experience in direct care or with people with I/DD, professional communication skills, good writing and basic computer skills for documentation, physically able to lift 50 lbs, ability to work outside in a desert climate, and be at least 21 years old.

Preferred Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in psychology or closely related field, experience providing employment support services, landscaping or plant nursery skills, bilingual English/Spanish.


This position is under the direct supervision of the Program Directors, it is hourly and full-time, Monday through Friday. We are looking for strong advocates who are committed to providing quality services. A positive attitude is essential and the capacity to show grace, compassion, and patience is the key to long-term success in this role.

All newly hired employees will have a 90-day probationary period to assure they are a good fit for the position. All employees are required to obtain a fingerprint clearance card and, if hired, participate in CPR/First Aid, Article IX, and Prevention and Supports training.

Primary Duties:

  • Provide direct services to small groups of Supported Employees while they work at the Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery and in the community..
    – This includes demonstrating and overseeing the correct use of all necessary tools, facilitating the development of employment related soft skills, always supervising all crew members, and creating adaptations that allow ALL participants to experience ALL job tasks.
  • Familiarize yourself with the support needs and service goals of all Supported Employees on your work crew.
  • Work in partnership with the Supported Employees on your crew, modeling tasks and behavior, giving instruction, and positive reinforcement. You are co-workers.
  • Consistently demonstrate a positive attitude, particularly in the face of negative behavior.
    – Do not engage in a power struggle, you will lose!
  • Interact with intention and be mindful of your body language as well as your words. Building participant self-esteem and sense of accomplishment is equally as important as learning any particular task.
  • Complete the required reporting documentation (daily and monthly) for all Supported Employees on your work crew.
  • Remain current on all required training and certifications.
    – CPR/FirstAid,ArticleIX,Prevention&Support,Abuse,Neglect and Exploitation and current fingerprint clearance card.
  • Maintain flow of communication between the Supported Employee’s families or support staff and Desert Survivors’ Program Directors.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of health, safety, and emergency procedures to ensure the wellbeing of all personnel.

Secondary Duties:

  • Attend scheduled staff meetings and internal professional development opportunities as assigned.

  • ALWAYS carry a radio for communication.

  • Amplify the voices of the Supported Employees on your work crew when they are self-advocating.
    – This may include conveying information to their caregivers or the Desert Survivors Program Directors, supporting them to prepare for service team meetings, or suggesting strategies for effective assertive communication.

  • Educate yourself on the civil rights of the population you serve, ask questions, and endeavor to always conduct yourself as an ally.

  • When necessary, provide personal attendant care for Supported Employees on your work crew.

  • Maintain situational awareness of all Supported Employees and work in close partnership with your fellow mentors, to assist if needed.

  • We are mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect. You are expected to discuss any suspicions with a Program Director and assist with the completion of any incident reports.

Most importantly, treat all personnel at Desert Survivors with respect, courtesy and understanding. Disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated from any employee and should be reported to the management team and Executive Director.