Maker Mentors matches young makers with experienced artists, designers, and manufacturing experts in order to empower the next generation of makers and expand opportunities for Vermont youth.
Generator provides membership, materials budgets, and tool trainings to the mentors and mentees so that they can use Generator’s resources for their projects.
Maker Mentors empower mentees to be thoughtful, responsible community decision-makers and to be leaders in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics).
What is your interest in the Maker Mentor program?
Generator is looking for creative and caring Maker Mentors who want to support the next generation of inventors, designers, and engineers.
Maker Mentors partner one-on-one with high school youth to share their craft, profession, and life skills. Mentors help mentees become curious, courageous, and community-focused.
Generator’s mentors devote four hour each month to their mentee. Generally, mentors and mentees collaborate on a project of that mentees and mentors create together and utilize the tools and workshops at Generator to make their vision a reality.
Mentors are not meant to replace parents, guardians, or teachers. Each mentor is part of a team of caring adults in a young person’s life.
- Agree to a one-year commitment to the program
- Commit to meeting at 4 hours a month
- Meet bi-weekly for the entirety of a year
- Complete the screening procedure
- Make consistent contact with the mentee
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a Vermont resident*
*Residency requirement can be waived with a compelling reason and Advisory Board approval
What We Provide:
- Possibility of reduced cost General Membership to Generator
- Bi-monthly trainings in one of the seven Generator workshops
- Guidance and training on best mentorship practices
- A meaningful way to impact a young person’s life as they enter adulthood
- Small materials budget for mentor-mentee projects
Ready to start?
- Fill out our application: Maker Mentor Application
- Complete this Information Release Form
Generator’s Maker Mentor Program is a one-on-one mentoring opportunity for high school students to build meaningful relationships with designers, engineers, animators, and other STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) professionals while meeting graduation proficiencies.
Mentors and mentees are selectively matched based on shared interests and personalities, along with other criteria. Mentor pairs spend a minimum of 4 hours per month together learning about various technologies through the completion of collaborative projects.
- Be entering 9th-12th Grade
- Commit to meeting 4 hours a month with the mentor
- Agree to a minimum one-year commitment to the program
- Be willing to communicate with the mentor regularly
- Be able to obtain parental/guardian permission and ongoing support for participation in the program
- Demonstrate a desire to participate in the program and abide by all Generator’s Maker Mentor Program policies and procedures
What mentees receive:
- One-on-one mentoring with fun, experienced, caring people who want to help you create and succeed!
- Opportunities to be trained on tools and machines in Generator’s seven workshops
- An exciting way to meet graduation proficiencies
- Insight to professions of people in engineering, science, and creative fields
- A stellar activity to put on a college resume
- Summer internship placement assistance after the completion of 11th and 12 grades
- Access to the Generator network that includes corporate members such as, Dealer.com, LogicSupply, and Seventh Generation; craftspersons who have graduated from Vermont Woodworking School, Yestermorrow, and New School in New York City; and artists who have been featured at Burlington City Arts, worked for Phish, and completed international artists residencies
How does Generator support mentees?
- Generator’s Maker Mentor program staff work with mentees and parents/guardians to match the youth with a mentor that fits their interests, personality type, and needs
- A Generator staff member or a trained volunteer is on-site for all mentor-mentee interactions
- Generator’s Maker Mentor staff keeps diligent records of mentor-mentee activities
- Generator Maker Mentor Program Director is available 24/7 via phone and will respond within 24 hours of any inquiry
- Generator provides bi-monthly opportunities for mentor-mentee pairs to gather and learn a new tool, skill, or simply hang out and socialize
Ready to start?
Please note, Maker Mentors is not currently accepting mentee applications at this time.
What Is a Mentor?
A mentor is a caring and responsible adult who takes time to be a friend to a young person. A mentor listens, supports, and guides a young person on a consistent basis over a specified period of time, usually at least one year. Mentors are volunteers in your community who know that young people can make a positive difference in the world if given the chance.
By developing this positive relationship, a mentor can:
- Help a young person define and achieve his own goals
- Help a young person improve in school
- Nurture a young person’s self-confidence and positive self-esteem
- Listen to a young person and help her solve problems
- Introduce the young person to new ideas, activities, and opportunities
Why Does My Child Need a Mentor?
All children need the support of caring adults in order to be successful, not only within their family but at school and in their communities. Growing up isn’t easy, and there are many roadblocks along the way that can cause difficulties for children. Sometimes parents don’t have all the answers, and sometimes children need someone outside the family with whom to share their thoughts. Having a variety of people positively involved in a child’s life provides her with new opportunities and experiences that will help her grow and gain self confidence.
Who Serves as Mentors?
Generator’s Maker Mentor Program has mentors who are architects, engineers, designers, and developers. We pull from our community of tech professionals, craftspersons, artists, and entrepreneurs to build a diverse pool of mentors. Mentors are carefully screened and selected, and they receive initial and ongoing training so that they are ready to work with your child.
What Will Mentoring Accomplish for My Child?
Research shows that having positive and ongoing support from several caring adults other than family members contributes to children’s healthy development and can help them become more self-confident.1 Mentoring can help children improve their grades and attitudes about school. Mentoring may also help students improve their classroom behavior, reduce absences, and increase self-confidence. And having a mentor can also help things go more smoothly at home as the child experiences more successes and becomes more confident.
Mentees who are part of Generator’s Maker Mentor Program not only enjoy the companionship of their mentor and the activities they share, but also learn and grow from the experience.
The particular ways that your own child may benefit from the mentoring relationship will depend on his needs, strengths, and many other factors. Sometimes the benefits of mentoring aren’t visible right away, but over time this friendship can help your child gain new skills and experiences that will last a lifetime.
Our goal is to help mentees build STEAM skills and provide internships and other professional opportunities, as they become more confident in their abilities.
How Do I Know the Program Is Safe?
We know that you’re putting your trust in our program and in the mentor we assign to your child. In partnership with MentorVT, we screen our potential mentors using researched best practices to ensure the safety of your child.
Everyone who wants to be a volunteer mentor begins by filling out an extensive application and has at least one interview with a staff member. Candidates go through a screening process that includes a criminal history background check using local and national resources. We also gather driving records and talk to personal references and employers.
Candidates who pass these steps go to a program orientation. This gives us another chance to see them in a group setting and to get to know them better. And before volunteers are matched they attend a longer training session about working with young people that includes information about child safety.
Safety doesn’t stop when the mentor is matched with a child. In fact, our work is really just beginning. Our staff checks in with all mentors, mentees, and parents or guardians as long as the match is active. You can expect to hear from our staff at least once a month — more often in the first few months. These check-ins help us see how things are going and if there is anything we can do to help the relationship develop. We also encourage you to email or call your Mentor Coordinator any time you have a concern or question.