What is expected of a mentor?
A mentor is expected to work towards establishing rapport with the mentee, with a view towards developing an open and comfortable relationship. He/she should be willing to:
- Provide exposure to different experiences;
- Celebrate the mentee’s successes;
- Support action to address shortcomings;
- Accept and respect the mentee and his/her family as they are; and
- Offer guidance for improved behavior, attitude and/or academic performance.
- He/she should work towards developing cultural competency with the mentee and his/her family.
What does the UMBSU mentoring program hope to achieve?
The UMBSU mentoring programme is designed:
- To foster development of positive values, attitudes and behaviors of the student;
- To promote development of a healthy self-esteem and self-image;
- To explore the nature and limits of relationships;
- To identify the benefits of having a role model.
Who benefits from mentoring?
All participants in the programme are likely to gain benefit in the following ways.
Mentees may benefit in the following ways:
- Receiving assistance in adjusting to a new environment;
- Gaining an opportunity to discuss issues and engage in activities with an adult other than a parent/guardian;
- Having an outlet to vent frustrations with and disappointments related to home and school, feelings of racism, relationships with their peers and own behavior;
- Having access to guidance with respect to strategies for improving academic performance, academic support
- Broadening their horizons by exposure to experiences “outside the box”; and
- Improving, behavior and self-esteem
Mentors may benefit in the following ways:
- Better understanding of some of the problems kids of African descent face at school, home and in the community;
- Getting to know one child better;
- Increased understanding of the importance of self-confidence and problems associated with low self-esteem;
- Reflection on their own attitude to young people.
Parents’/guardians’/families may benefit in the following ways:
- Increased tolerance and accommodation of the views of others;
- Exposure for mentee which the family may be unable to provide;
- Exposure to educational and social resources for their child
- Improved communication between the mentee and members of his/her family;
- Advice and support from a responsible adult; and
- Increased understanding of your child’s needs and interests
What are the responsibilities of a mentor?
The mentor is expected to perform the following functions:
- Participate in programme activities, including workshops and meetings;
- Establish regular contact with the young person at least once per month;
- Listen to the mentees opinions, hopes and fears;
- Maintain confidentiality, except where the mentees safety and/or welfare may be in jeopardy;
- Introduce the mentee to new and positive cultural experiences, with his/her parent/guardian’s permission;
- Seek advice/share information on issues of concern which may affect the well-being of the mentee;
To become a UMBSU Mentor please contact:
Murray Pierce, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Montana