What is Mentoring? Mentoring is a supportive and caring relationship where mentees seek wisdom from someone who has walked the walk. Mentors provide advice, leadership, and share their journeys in order to support their mentee’s success.
What’s the point of this program?
Why is mentoring important?
Mentoring is an opportunity to ask advice from someone who was once in your shoes. Mentors are important in every stage of life, especially the transition out of high school. At this stage, a mentor can help high school students capitalize on their strengths and passions.
Living in a rural area, it’s hard to know what opportunities exist beyond your own community. Connecting with mentors throughout the whole province broadens high school students’ horizons and shows them what’s out there. Many of our mentors are originally from rural communities, and love passing on the wisdom and courage it took to pursue their big dreams.
Since many of our mentors are close in age to high school students, we capitalize on their “near-peer” connections. Understandably, high school students are more comfortable connecting with someone near their own age, rather than an authority figure like a teacher, parent, or professional. Near-peer mentors understand the challenges youth face, and nobody understands post-secondary like post-secondary students! Just knowing what to expect can make all the difference in deciding about post-secondary.
What mentoring is and is not
A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor, friend or guide. In this program, mentors are NOT meant to act as a parent/guardian, teacher, therapist or any other authority figure. Here is what you should – and should not – expect from your mentor.
You can share anything with your mentor without any fear of consequences or judgement. After all, your conversations will be confidential. So, you have absolutely NOTHING TO LOSE – and everything to gain – by participating in this program.
Reasons to have a mentor and what you can gain
- Having someone to talk to – about anything!
- Getting Personalized advice
- Learning what to expect in the future
- Having someone to bounce ideas off of
- Getting help preparing for the future
- Getting confidence, having someone who believes in you
- Having someone who you can depend on and who you trust
- Learning from someone different than yourself
- Practicing communication skills and relationship building
Getting career and educational advice is a good reason to have a mentor, but there is much more to life after high school graduation that a mentor can give you personalized advice about – for example, “adulting”, dealing with setbacks and challenges, building soft-skills, motivation and goal setting.
This is also a good chance for you to practice building relationships with someone different than you.
So full disclosure: we may not be able to match you to a mentor who shares your career or educational goals – especially if you are interested in trades or if you are not planning to continue your education – but you still have a lot to learn and gain from your mentor. You may even discover an educational or career path that you had not thought of before!
Hear from mentees in other programs about why they chose to have a mentor and what they gained from it.
Why mentoring matters – from the University of Melbourne
Reflect on what these students gained from their mentoring experiences. Notice that what they valued most was not learning about the ins and outs of their fields, but rather gaining confidence, validation, personalized advice and discovering their wider options and potential.
Reasons to have a mentor
You may have joined this program for career and educational advice. While this is a good reason to have a mentor, there is much more to gain from them beyond these things.
Your mentor will have experience with “adulting”, dealing with setbacks, building soft-skills, motivation, goal setting, and much more. They have had experiences that are different than yours and have faced their own challenges, and now they have stories and wisdom to share with you!
So, while we may not be able to match you to a mentor who shares your career interests or goals – especially if you are interested in going into trades or if you are not planning on going to college or university – there is MUCH more to life after high school than your just career. So even if you have very little in common with your mentor, you will still be able to learn from them – or at least get to meet someone new and interesting.
Please watch this video about the reasons to have a mentor. These students are probably a bit younger than you, but their reasons for having a mentor are still valid.
Reasons to have a mentor – from Education Weekly
We may not be able to match you to a mentor who shares your career interests or goals. This is especially true if you are interested in going into trades or if you’re not planning on going to college/university. However, as you have heard, mentoring is NOT just about getting career help – after all, there’s MUCH more to life after high school than just your career.
Your mentor will have experience with “adulting”, dealing with setbacks, building soft-skills, motivation and goal setting, and much more. They have had experiences that are different than yours and have faced their own challenges, and now they have stories and wisdom to share with you!
So even if you have very little in common with your mentor, you’ll still be able to learn from them – or at least get to meet someone new and interesting.
Why connect your students with mentors?
Youth are looking for mentors!
53% of Canadian rural youth have at some point wanted a mentor but didn’t have anyone.
Why are youth looking for mentors?
•41% wanted someone whom they could talk to
•21% wanted help planning their academic future
•20% wanted help planning their career
•19% were struggling in school
Youth today are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.
Mentored youth reported improvements in the following areas:
•65% confidence in their abilities
•68% hope and optimism for future
•62% social skills for building relationships, improvement in peer relationships
•Youth will need to find mentors later in life. NOW is the time for them to practice and learn how mentoring works.
•Connecting youth to role models from different backgrounds and cultures can expand their options and viewpoints and improve their social skills and adaptability.
How you can help
Youth cite lack of time and access issues as barriers to receiving mentoring.
Rural eMentoring BC can help!
•We provide the mentors, matching, and administrative/logistical support.
•You provide access to internet/technology and dedicate time for youth to work with a mentor.
We’re here to augment your community’s already awesome support systems for youth!
contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!