Helpful Information About The Mentorship Experience
Who are the Mentors?
The Mentors come from diverse backgrounds just like our Mentees. They are regular people, just like you. People who want to positively impact young lives. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
Are Mentors and Mentees required to meet?
You decide together as a team what you want to do and then your Mentee gets approval from his or her parent. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis if possible. Virtual meetings are also good if the circumstance does not permit physical meetings. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Mentee’s parents, your Mentee, and you.
What if my Mentee asks me for money?
The quality of the time you invest with your Mentee is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings if any at all. The goal of the relationship is to help your Mentee see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Mentee to become something they never thought possible. You are not required to spend money on your Mentee but if you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. As a Mentor, you may also receive notices for free events for you both to enjoy. If your Mentee is becoming a financial burden please contact the program coordinator.
Can I have multiple Mentors?
iMentor Ghana offers just one mentor per mentee. However if the mentee wishes to or already has a mentor outside the program, that is permitted. Your activities within the program should be scheduled so not affect your engagement with your respective mentors.
Can I maintain contact with my Mentor or Mentee after the program ends?
The Mentor/Mentee can continue after the program ends per the discretion of each party. Parties are advised to be of constant good behavior and create positive impacts towards each other. Note that any incident, good or bad, concerning the sustained relationship will not be attributed to iMentor Ghana
What are some good ideas for outings with my Mentee?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. See a movie together. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. Overnight stays are not permitted in our program. Meetings are best when they are in public places. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
Can I bring my spouse, a friend, or a family member on outings?
In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Mentee to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Mentee to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Mentee may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Mentee.
Will I become a replacement parent?
No, Mentees have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Mentor to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
What if we don’t hit it off right away?
It’s not easy to trust a stranger, especially if you’re a young person who’s had a lot of bad experiences with adults in the past. It may take a while to build trust. Don’t interpret caution as rejection. A young person may not show it — in fact, he or she may not even know it fully — but your help is definitely wanted.
What if something extremely serious comes up?
While most mentoring relationships develop and flourish without serious problems, things do happen. Mentors have an important role, but that role does not include family counseling or medical or psychological treatment. There are support systems in place for real emergencies. Contact your mentoring program coordinator for information. The most a mentor is expected to do — and should do — is to help guide a young person to the appropriate source of professional help.
What if we don’t have anything in common?
Many first-time mentors worry that differences in age, tribe, religion, interest or gender will be insurmountable barriers. Actually, most experienced mentors report that mentoring a young person from a different background broadened their own horizons and deepened their understanding of other people and cultures.
What if I can’t mentor anymore?
This is a very serious concern. Mentoring is a deep commitment. There are times, however, when uncontrollable things happen — perhaps a job relocation or sickness — and you simply must withdraw from your mentoring relationship. If that happens, you need to talk with your program coordinator and discuss the best way to end the relationship. Except for such unavoidable circumstances, it’s best to stay in a mentoring relationship. You could do far more harm than good if you enter a young person’s life, build trust and then abandon the relationship. Be honest with yourself when committing to be a mentor. If you aren’t sure about in-depth mentoring, try one of the many shorter-term alternatives, such as volunteering.
What if I do something wrong?
If you are there for your young friend no matter what; if you listen and really hear what’s being said; and if you do your best to counsel and not to judge, you will have done everything right. Some young people are more ready than others for a mentor. Some may test a mentor’s commitment. Try not to take such behavior personally. Just keep doing your best and following your mentoring program’s guidelines. Gauge your success by your actions, not your mentee’s. If these don’t help contact the program coordinator.
What are the safety and security protocols?
We recognize the importance of safety and security from the standpoint of both mentor and mentee. To that end, mentors are required to commit to protecting their mentees while we conduct background and reference checks. Safety and security are collective responsibilities so we urge all stakeholders to remain vigilant and give us feedback during the program to ensure the security and safety of all especially our young adults. Throughout the life of the match, our professional staff will be in ongoing communication with all stakeholders. It is the best way to build a strong relationship that will have the greatest impact on your mentee's future success.