"A truly amazing mentor is hard to find, difficult to part with, and impossible to forget." ~unknown
The Class of 2019 Mentorship Program will work to improve career, college, and military service readiness skills for high school seniors transitioning into these settings by supporting their academic achievement, self-esteem, and social competence by providing experience, guidance, and wisdom from role models who demonstrate educational and professional successes.
The Class of 2019 Mentorship Program is designed to assist graduating seniors in developing their character and social responsibilities in and effort to assist them in their transition from high school to career, college, and military service.
Mentors play an important role in this process by providing the following:
Encouragement and support in striving for academic and professional excellence;
Development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for successful completion of academic and professional goals;
Encouragement to develop supportive relationships with peers, faculty, and staff personnel;
Positive relationships which promote and enhance Mentee self-confidence;
Development of leadership skills;
Identification of appropriate professional resources
Formulating plans, goals, and strategies for personal and professional goals; and
Networking in today’s society.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a trusting relationship that brings you and your Mentees together by offering guidance, support, and encouragement aimed at developing their competence and character.
You and your Mentees should spend time getting to know each other, have fun together, build trust, and work toward your Mentees self-identified goals.
It is also important to remember that although mentoring and tutoring can occur simultaneously, there are some very important differences:
The Role of a Mentor
I am a Mentor. This is what I will do:
Focus primarily on developing a relationship with my Mentees;
Measure success by improvements in non-academic areas such as relationships and emotional well-being as well as improvements in grades;
Develop a plan about how to effectively spend Mentor/Mentee time together - this can include text messages, emails, Face-Time, and personal time. Fun is KEY!
Serve as a role model;
Encourage and support my Mentees to strive for academic and professional success;
Guide my Mentee in the formation of attainable goals, plans, and strategies for professional and personal development;
Help my Mentees learn how to acquire the skills of successful networking in today’s society;
Help my Mentee identify and acquire appropriate professional resources;
Commit to regular meetings with my Mentees (once a month is the requirement); and
Accept responsibility, along with my Mentees, for creating a healthy mentoring relationship.
I am not a tutor. I do not:
Focus only on skill acquisition;
Measure success by improvements in academic areas only;
Determine the structure of learning sessions;
Scaffold student growth based on "next level" instruction. We talk and exchange ideas and thoughts. This is not school.
Developing the Mentor Relationship: What do we talk about when we meet?
It is not unusual for Mentees to feel a bit nervous, eager, anxious, and excited to meet their Mentor. Mentees generally have questions such as:
What does it mean to be a Mentee?
How does one go about it?
What do you say and do?
How do I get started?”
These are some suggestions that may assist with meetings ~ Mentees should come to meetings prepared to discuss:
Decisions about which the mentor can give perspective;
Issues in reaching the priorities that the mentor can help with, if possible;
Progress points for the mentor’s update so the mentor can give well deserved praise; and
Personal roadblocks, blind spots, and other concerns the mentor can help explore.
It is important to remember that decisions and plans are typically related to Mentee priorities. Before meetings, Mentees should make a list of questions, issues, or concerns which the Mentor may assist. Taking this step will help facilitate productive meetings. It is important that both you and your Mentees agree to certain boundaries surrounding the mentoring relationship.
You may want to use the following as a guideline when setting boundaries with your Mentee:
What are my Mentee's educational and professional goals?
What do both Mentor & Mentee hope to get out of the mentorship?
How can the Mentor assist the Mentee reach their desired outcomes?
How much time do M&M plan to be together?
What are any specific needs the Mentee feels at the moment?
Are there any limits the Mentor wants to establish up front?
Are there any assumptions about the mentorship which need to be discussed?
Are there any issues that may have caused previous mentoring relationships to be disappointing that you’d like to talk about before you begin this mentorship?
Do you expect each other to be perfect? If so, how do you discuss this before it becomes an issue?
What anxieties, uncertainties, uneasiness, and inadequacies do either of you feel about the mentorship?
Setting limits and boundaries early in the program makes it possible for both the Mentor and the Mentee to build a strong mentorship.
What do Mentees look for in a Mentor?
Some of the most common fears of Mentees are:
Why would this person want to put up with me or want to help me?
Will this person reject me?
Will I look like a failure to this person if they knew the real me?
Prior to meeting their mentor for the first time, Mentees often ask themselves:
Will I appear awkward?
Will I look like a fool?
Will I blow it?
Will I say the wrong thing?
Will I do the wrong thing?
Will I ask too much?
What will we talk about?”
The following checklist is only a starting point for the Mentor to begin assisting Mentees in overcoming their fears of the mentorship:
Be honest with your Mentees;
Be willing to take your Mentees aside on occasion and talk about things they need to hear but frankly don’t necessarily want to hear;
Don’t be afraid to discuss their professional appearance, the habits they have developed, and their impact on others, as well as the importance of setting realistic goals for themselves;
Be a role model for your Mentees. Part of your role is teaching your Mentees by letting them learn from your actions and your words;
Be deeply committed to your Mentees. Let them know you believe in them and that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to;
Make spontaneous phone calls before exams and/or send your Mentees a note of encouragement or congratulations now and then;
Be open and transparent with your Mentees. Every Mentor has struggles their Mentees never see. Share some of the struggles you have encountered or are encountering with your Mentees along with the success stories;
Be a Coach! Many people do things well, but don’t know how to tell others how they did it. Share your observations as to how and why the Mentees did, or didn’t do, something they said they would;
Be someone who believes in the potential of your Mentees. This goes hand-in-hand with being deeply committed to your Mentees. What you’re really saying to your Mentees is, “I believe this person has tremendous potential. They have what it takes to make a real difference.” Investing personal time makes a louder statement than any words;
Be someone who can help Mentees define their dreams and plans and turn them into reality. It is important however, for you to remember that just because you say your Mentees can or cannot achieve something, doesn’t necessarily make it so. Your Mentees should take your input seriously, however, the final decision – and responsibility – of the direction of your Mentees' lives rests with them.
A Mentor is there only to help. Once the realism factor has been established, you can help your Mentees develop plans to move from where they are to where they ultimately want to be.
55% more likely to pursue post-secondary education
130% more likely to hold leadership positions
earn a median income 73% higher
Many students lack caring and consistent relationships with adults in their lives. They may not have anyone there to show them just how capable and competent they are. Without this type of support, students may struggle and have difficulty living up to their full potential.
Mentoring relationships have been linked to a number of positive benefits in students. These include improvements in:
Social & Emotional Well-Being
Education & Grades
Improved Relationships with Parents & Peers
These benefits are attained by building relationship over time and making sure that you are getting to know the needs, interests, strengths, and challenges of your students while ensuring that your students are benefitting from your mentoring activities.
The Rural Schools Education Program & Scholarship Foundation welcomes all students, families, community members, and organizations, regardless of income, political views, religious affiliations and/or backgrounds.
RSEPSF welcomes humans of all ages, races, physical abilities, sexual preferences, gender expressions, and gender identities.