Why start this mentorship program?
When starting a mentorship program, begin by articulating its purpose. Embodied in your mission statement, the purpose will serve as an anchor for the program: all trainings, activities, and events should support your purpose and your mission.
To build a mission statement, determine the following:
- The program’s name
- The program’s target audience
- Goals the program hopes to accomplish
- How the program will achieve its goals
EXAMPLE: Use the [(the program’s name) will help (the program’s target audience) (goals the program hopes to accomplish) through (how the program will achieve its goals)] model to build your program’s mission statement.
What’s the focus of this mentoring program?
The mentoring program’s focus or focuses might include one or more of the following:
- Academic success
- Professional development
- Sharing in hobbies or interests
- A holistic interest in personal development
Determining the crux of the program and subsequently prioritizing interests and goals will provide structure. While each mentoring relationship develops on its own terms, determining general goals will help define the activities and topics discussed in the mentorship sessions.
Who can participate in the program as a mentor or mentee?
While mentoring relationships typically operate with a mentor who is somehow more experienced in the determined area of focus, there is considerable variation between programs. Some feature peer-to-peer mentorship and others typically include a range of age difference between the mentor and mentee. When matching mentors and mentees, similarities and differences in life stages and other circumstantial considerations will impact the tenor and rhythm of each relationship. See MENTORING ACROSS DIFFERENCE for more insight on this topic.