A community mentoring program socially connect community members or a group of people with a range of passionate volunteers from within the community. The mentors support the mentees in social life, education and work. The participants of the program get so much to learn.
This course helps participants to understand themselves, open up to the mentor, and navigate through the challenges they are facing in life. Just like Mentoring for graduate recruitment programs prepare the grads for new company culture and environment, the community program prepares the youth for the challenges that lie ahead of them.
Community mentoring programs are normally organized by a non-profit or an NGO to give back to society.
How to Create a Community Mentoring Program
Not sufficient guidance is available on community mentoring like it’s available on mentoring for Corporate Social Responsibility and other common mentoring programs. If you are here to get help, we have got you covered. Follow these steps to start a successful community mentoring program:
Define the Goals
The goal of community mentoring is simple i.e. to help the youth overcome challenges. The outcomes also include improving behavior, decreased ASB, good school attendance, and more.
Each organization has its own goals and yours would pretty much revolve around the outcomes mentioned above. Start by identifying these goals and make sure they are SMART so that you may measure the success of the program at the end.
Design the Program
A successful community mentoring program like all Alumni mentoring programs has a structure but there’s always room for flexibility. It is through this structure the participants follow a path to reach the defined goals.
Here are the questions that must be addressed when designing the structure:
- Is it an open program or invite-only?
- What style of mentoring will be used?
- Will it be one-on-one or group connection?
- What’s going to be the duration of the program?
- How are you going to track the progress of the program?
Attract the Right Participants
This is challenging when it comes to community mentoring programs. This isn’t one of the mentoring programs that the members in an organization are obligated to participate in. The volunteers need to be engaged and motivated.
The mentees normally don’t understand the benefit of the program. Therefore, it will take extra effort to attract the right candidates and convince them to join the program. They must be educated on the benefits of the program. You may be offered some incentives such as membership of a book club or anything that interests the participants.
Provide Mentoring Training
Productive mentoring doesn’t happen magically. To ensure the success of the program, mentor training is important. The mentors must know the goals of the program, mentoring best practices, and their role in shaping the mindset of the participants. At the same time, the mentees must show a willingness to learn and step out of their comfort zone. This is why all types of mentoring programs have training as a critical step in the process.
Track the Progress
The last step of the program is to track the progress by getting feedback from the mentees and mentors. Use mentoring software if need be to generate reports for a detailed analysis.