"A Mentor Empowers A Person To See A Possible Future And, Believe That It Can Be Obtained"
~ Shawn Hitchcock
~ Shawn Hitchcock
What is a Mentor?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, a mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person. However, this definition does not sufficiently express the meaningful connections and learning opportunities that a "mentor and mentee" connection can provide to its participants.
To explain it more fully, "Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset" (Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership, 2016) .
Thus, The Generation Project, like many other mentoring programs, hopes to give support to youth and inspire them to form their own goals and work towards academic success. However, unlike most programs, The Generation Project will also focus on motivating and giving confidence to the mentors themselves. Aiding mentors to apply the skills they gain through this experience to their own lives and inspiring them to realize their own goals.
Here are the three simple steps to this process:
Step 1. INSPIRE: Taylorsville High School Mentors will inspire Plymouth 6th graders to begin thinking about higher education (college) and career aspirations, forming academic and educational goals, and facilitate their academic success. Through their shared interactions, it is hoped that Taylorsville High School youth will also be inspired to recognize their own academic/educational/career goals and ensure that they, too, are on the path towards achieving them.
Step 2. LEARN: Through tutoring and motivational activities, Mentors will help students gain the skills to become academically successful. Mentors will also provide mentees with academic resources that can help them at home. Mentees will also learn about college/career resources that can aid them as they become curious about their futures. These resources can also be utilized by mentors to facilitate the attainment of their own academic/career/educational goals.
Step 3. ACCOMPLISH: It is the hope of the program to foster an inspiring and motivated learning environment where both older high school and younger elementary youth can find the confidence to continue on with their education, achieving academic progress and creating successful paths towards reaching their career/educational/academic goals.
What will you do as a Mentor?
As Mentors, you will spend time aiding 6th grade Mentees with their classwork and homework, giving the students tips on how to improve their academic progress and focusing on the subjects they with struggle most.
There will be times when Mentors will help to facilitate activities during recess or class that will encourage teamwork, learning exercises, diversion, and healthy interaction between Mentors and Mentees. Playing games or sports, taking time to talk with Mentees about their hobbies or interests, or just being a friend who can listen, are all ways in which Mentors can use activities as time to bond and better understand their Mentees.
Mentors should closely follow their Mentee's academic progress. If their Mentee's academic progress has declined, a Mentor should provide their Mentee with the appropriate resources and offer to help the Mentee with the subjects they struggle with. Also, if Mentors share similar educational/career goals as their Mentees, they should provide Mentees with advise towards achieving their educational/career plans. Even if Mentors and Mentees do not share similar interests, Mentors should direct Mentees towards resources (as found on the website) that can aid them with their research and forming educational/career goals.
Though inspiring Mentees to succeed academically or start forming educational/career goals is important within these Mentor connections, making sure that your Mentee has your support and can trust you is what makes the greatest difference in creating an effective and satisfactory Mentor-relationship. Being a person your Mentee can depend on is essential for your Mentor connection's overall success and progress.
What is your Role as a Mentor? What are your Responsibilities?
As a Mentor and an older high school student, you must realize the role you play as a person of authority and resource that your fellow Mentees will look up to. As a figure of power, you carry the responsibility of ensuring that you do not abuse of your authority and maintain appropriate & healthy connections/communications with your Mentees.
RULES FOR MENTORING CONNECTIONS:
1. Be a Role Model - Make sure that your actions reflect that of a person, Mentees can positively look upon and admire. That you demonstrate to your Mentee the expected behavior of a good student and refrain from engaging in any kind of inappropriate or unhealthy behaviors/actions that could both harm your Mentees and your relationship. If you are discovered abusing of the trust of a Mentee and utilizing your role as an authority for inappropriate or harmful reasons, you will be removed from the program and will receive punishment as due to the crimes of the situation or circumstance.
2. Ensure & Put the Safety of Your Mentees First - In all your interactions with your Mentee, make sure that they feel safe in the environments you create for them and that they can trust you with their safety. This includes mental health and safety as well. Make sure that you are not causing your Mentee harmful mental stress and frequently check on your Mentees' mental health by asking them questions about how they're doing and observing any odd or unusual behavior. It's okay if you want to be a friend your Mentees can trust and confide in. However, as a Mentor, it is your responsibility to promote a safe, happy, and healthy environment for your Mentees, in which, they can successfully grow academically and begin to form their own life goals. If a Mentee does confide to you about ANY serious issues regarding their own mental/physical health, abusive problems at home or school, or reoccurring situations in which your Mentee is physically or emotionally harmed, it is your duty as Mentor to report this to the Director of the Program, a 6th grade Teacher, or Plymouth's Principal as such knowledge is essential in providing your Mentee with immediate support or action in order to ensure their overall safety.
3. Be Someone Your Mentee Can Depend On - It's vital to the success of your Mentor connections that you present at volunteer and tutoring times. If you have an excuse, it is okay to miss one or two volunteering days. However, unexcused absences are unacceptable and disregarding your role as a Mentor by not committing to meet up with your Mentees each week, will result with your removal from The Generation Project Program. Being a Mentor is a priviledge and great resposibility. Being constantly and extremely tardy (over 10-15 min.) without a reasonable excuse will also jeopardize your ability to remain in the Program.
You are someone who your Mentee will look up to and, with time, will come to respect. However, that respect is earned and it starts by demonstrating to your Mentees that you are someone they can depend on and trust--that you care about their overall academic success and support them in their educational/career-oriented endeavors.