Choosing Your Community Mentor
Community Mentors must meet the following criteria:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Can NOT be your parent or anyone living in the same house as you.
- Must be knowledgeable or experienced in field of interest
- Parent(s) must sign the parental mentor approval form. Parent(s) must approve of the mentor.
BE ATTENTIVE OF ANY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS OR COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR MENTOR. IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ANYTHING BEING SAID, DONE, SUGGESTED, OR IMPLIED, QUICKLY REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SITUATION AND REPORT THIS TO BOTH YOUR PARENTS AND A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR.
To select your Community Mentor:
- Complete the Proposal Title Page and Brief Form.This will help you clarify your vision of the project.
- Ask around. Ask your friends, families, teachers, etc. if they know of anyone working in your topic area that would be willing to mentor you. Visit local businesses and inquire if an employee would be willing to help you.
- Find a community member who is knowledgeable about your project topic and who is willing and excited to share with you. It is important that you feel comfortable working with this person and that your parents feel comfortable with you spending time alone with him/her. Your parents must fill out the Community Mentor Approval form documenting their approval of your choice of a community member. If you need help finding a Community Mentor, your Bull Dog Time teacher can direct you to available resources.
- Ask your mentor to fill out the Community Mentor Acceptance Form
You are free to work with your mentor after your parents’ approval is documented and your project is approved through the proposal process.
- Ask your Community Mentor how he/she prefers to be contacted (phone, e-mail, cell) and what times are acceptable for you to contact him/her.
- Be prepared and punctual for all appointments with your Community Mentor.
- Schedule your meetings in advance. Do not expect him/her to be available to meet with you on short notice. Come to each meeting with an agenda planned so your time together is efficiently utilized.
- Keep in regular contact with your Community Mentor through face-to-face contact, phone conversations, and/or e-mail. Be selective when using non-professional, web-based communication forums to talk with your mentor about your project (Facebook and My Space are not good choices). Communicate in a respectful and professional manner at all times.
- Give your mentor periodic updates concerning the progress of your project. Every minor detail does not need to be included, but the general progress you are making should be.
- When you leave a phone message or an e-mail, be sure to share your complete contact information: name, school, date and time, reason for your call, and how to contact you. Do not assume that they know the sound of your voice or have your number saved in their phone’s memory!
- Express your gratitude every time you make contact with your mentor. Thank him/her for everything from returning your call to spending an entire Saturday working with you.
- Keep a list of any materials that you have borrowed from your mentor. Return these in the same condition in which they were received.
- Discuss how your project will benefit the community. Ask for his/her input and discuss this issue with the mentor to get his/her perspective as a member of the community.
- You are responsible for acquiring all materials necessary for the completion of your project. Do not expect them to be provided by your mentor, your teachers, or the school corporation.
- Make your parents/guardians aware of your meetings with your mentor in advance. Tell them when you are meeting, how long you plan to be with mentor, and the purpose of the meeting.
- Keep a record of the times and activities that you do with your mentor. Use the Project Time Log to keep track of your project activities and contacts with your mentor.