Want to be a mentor? Here’s what we look for.
To be a mentor to a young person, you’ll need bags of enthusiasm, commitment and passion for your role as a mentor. You’ll need to commit regular time to the young person and to Urban Synergy.
Your mentoring role will include regular (minimum once a fortnight) scheduled one hour meetings with your mentee during the day, evening or weekend – which are also agreed with the mentee’s parent/guardian. You’ll find that you need to employ a range of skills – listening being the first. But you might also provide support in a number of ways such as helping your mentee to prepare college applications and run through interview techniques to helping to boost their confidence and goal/career mapping. Introducing your mentee to new and different experiences is also important – you might take them to an exhibition, the cinema or explore appropriate hobbies with them.
The mentoring relationship lasts for a minimum six months and a maximum of 12 months.
So what are the qualities of a good volunteer mentor?
- Be available – you can commit regular time to a mentee
- Be enthusiastic – you’re dynamic, encouraging and enthusiastic
- Unlimited patience – you’ll respect the fact that your mentee may have different views and a different mindset than you. You will however be able to patiently guide their progress
- Confident – You’ll be self-assured and conscientious when interacting with your mentee. You’ll confidently be able to set mentor / mentee boundaries
- Knowledgeable – You’ll familiarise yourself with the resources available in the Urban Synergy network and leverage the network for the benefit of your mentee.
- Willing and sharing – you will be willing to share your skills, experience and expertise
- A good listener – you’ll speak less and listen more when necessary and carefully consider the needs of the mentee
Volunteering your time to mentor with Urban Synergy is a big commitment. With most of our mentors having full-time, demanding jobs, the commitment that we ask for may seem like a lot. But if you’re passionate about helping a young person navigate their way towards a bright, successful future, the time you put in will be worth the feeling of reward and satisfaction.
Your commitment as an Urban Synergy mentor doesn’t stop at guiding your mentee. You will need to provide regular progress reports to your Mentor Cohort Leader. You will also be expected to attend or support two to three key Urban Synergy events within a year. These might include mentor refresher training sessions, being a chaperone for group mentee social activities or supporting an event such as our Role Model seminar.
Still interested in joining us? In 2010 we will be focusing on South East London – specifically the areas within a five mile radius of the London Borough of Lewisham. Please use the Contact Us form if you have any queries. Remember to tell us a little about yourself including why you want to mentor and we will send you an application pack.
Don’t have the time?
If you don’t have the time but still want to be involved in our mentor programme in some way, you can! Some of our mentors volunteer to take part in our schedule of events throughout the year, others offer work experience to our young people who are interested in their profession. It’s up to you.
So why join Urban Synergy?
It’s an opportunity to be a positive influence to a young person
It’s so satisfying to pass on to someone some lessons I have learnt – the hard way…
Comments all taken with permission from current Urban Synergy 2009 mentors.