There is a shortage of mentors. It’s hard to believe given that this is such a high value volunteer opportunity for the minimum investment in time. It’s a chance to share experience, give guidance, and be a sounding board.
What pains me is that some of our top students in this country are unmatched in the mentor programs they are part of. These students have asked for mentors, the programs that they belong to promise a mentor and yet they remain unmatched.
I have seen a few issues:
- The programs are not well publicized or are not well known as opportunities for the target mentor audience
- Programs recycle their own lists of mentors leading to volunteer fatigue and a rather stale list.
- Many potential mentors don’t know what’s involved. They may have a inclination to volunteer but it’s not easy to find a program, get through the process and the expectations are seldom really clear.
- A bad recruitment process or an unfulfilling/unsuccessful mentoring program will cause mentors to drop out.
The good news is that there are some real superstars out there just looking for a little support. There are future leaders, cultural gems, international spirits and the next innovators. It’s inspiring to be among them and rewarding to be able to give back. As in most volunteering, you get back far more than you give.
Inspired to help? Here’s just a couple of places I volunteer that need you: