Part of what makes this program work is the participation of mentors. Each youth will apply with the support of a mentor from their community. Students are required to include a letter of support from a mentor in their application, but the role of the mentor goes deeper than this.
All mentors should automatically receive an email leading to the Mentor Reference Form once their mentees have submitted their own applications to the program. Mentors only need to provide their reference through the form once per student application.
The role of the mentor
For the Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program, being a mentor is about accompanying students on their journey toward catalyzing change. You don't need to be an expert in peacebuilding or innovation to be a great mentor. The most important qualifications for mentors are:
- You need to care, and
- You need to be available every so often to check in with your student.
- Be an adult over the age of 25 who has an existing relationship with the applicant, who is not a parent or close family member.
What you're agreeing to:
- Approx. 10 hours minimum invested into supporting your mentee throughout the year (this number can go up based on a discussion and an agreement between you and your mentee, but is not required).
- Frequent check-in meetings
- At these meetings, you can support your mentee in talking through their next steps, listening to them as they process, and resourcing their needs (like helping them book spaces or make connections to other key staff).
- You are not responsible for the success or failure of the student's initiative. (But how lucky are they to have you accompany them in their own process of learning and planning!)
The youth-mentor partnership happens at the initiative of either the youth or the mentor. We do not determine match-ups.
In previous cohorts, mentors have been a participants’ teacher, community leader, professor, etc.
Other program support for the youth
Youth will have the support of The Ripple Effect Education (TREE), as well as other peers in the program, for help with the nitty gritty details of implementing their idea. You're there to check in and to help them meet their own goals.