April 1, 2021 – Rural Mentoring Issues & Solutions

Resources from the Virtual Coffee:

  • Video recording with Tina McGuinness (Gunnison Valley Mentors) – LINK
  • Mentimeter slides and results – LINK

Breakout Room Notes:

Mentor Recruitment Ideas:

  • Word of mouth, work to make the experience so positive for existing mentors that they share this with friends, co-workers
  • Events in the community (Mentor and Mingle) and just getting out in the community to spread the word
  • Use local Craig’s List and community Facebook page to put out the word
  • Saw a lot of challenges with mentor recruitment during Covid, fear of having contact with youth, uses bi-monthly mentee spotlights in their newsletter, presentations to large employers
  • WOM, tap into the partners that they have for community service projects and use them to spread the word on their platforms
  • Designate Mentor Ambassadors who officially take on the job of recruiting friends, co-workers, Bi-lingual/bi-cultural staff person who can do recruitment in Latinx community, ask about potential interest when conducting mentor applicant phone references, we have lowered our expectation that applicants have lived in the community for 1 year because of how many new residents have moved to the area and want to get involved, more open to a mentor applicant who might not live full -time because of ability to have virtual contact.
  • Change messaging: We work with all kinds of kids for all kinds of reasons
  • Personal outreach – targeting individuals and getting referrals – stalking/flattery
  • Getting other mentors to reach out to their friends
  • Get them in as tutors first, then recruit them as mentors
  • Outreach events (pre-COVID)
  • Program Directors pump up program to parents/students (get parents or someone who is interested)
  • On recruiting diverse mentors: be in the communities you’re targeting to recruit from, plant seeds (it’s not always a fast process)
  • Hired people from the communities they’re targeting for mentors
  • Young people recruiting mentors
  • Board members have to bring names of people in community to meetings
  • Word of mouth – organic to formalized mentor ambassador program
  • Networking events
  • Virtual platform (Craigslist, FB, targeted newsletters)
  • Targeted presentations to employers in the area
  • Videos to highlight mentors

Transportation Challenges:

  • Set expectations early with mentors of how far they’ll need to travel
  • Clear mentors to drive
  • Offer a stipend/incentives
  • Centralized place to meet – either a building or get donations from businesses

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