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.