Benefits to being a mentor
The mentee isn’t the only one benefitting in mentoring relationships. Mentors benefit as well. Here some of the benefits:
Share their expertise
Reminders of where you’ve come from
Opportunities to influence and/or make a difference in a young person’s life
Personal growth and development
Opportunities to reflect on what it means to be successful
A captive, attentive audience
Lois Zachary, in her book: The Mentor’s Guide posits that effective mentors have certain skills. They are:
Building and maintaining relationships
Providing and receiving feedback
Which of these skills do you have?
Resources and Support
SC utilizes 3 main resources for mentors:
1) Big Questions Worthy Dreams by Sharon Daloz Parks – provides the philosophical basis of the work we do
2) The Mentor’s Guide by Lois Zachary – provides the basics of mentoring – self-paced workbook with a lot of personal reflection.
3) A Sacred Voice is Calling by John Neafsey – our basic resource on vocation.
A primary role of the director is to provide support for the mentors.
Mentoring Commitment to SC
In our attempt to create a mentoring community for the Scholars of Scholastic Connections there are minimally three ways we do this:
1) Buddy system pairing a continuing Scholar with a new Scholar – Scholars benefit from connecting with others within the program, sharing what they’re working on with their Mentors and sharing who they are with each other
2) Mentoring pairs – Mentor and Scholar – the most important component of Scholastic Connections work happens in the mentoring pairs between the Mentor and Scholar.
3) Large group gatherings – coming together to reflect on the work we are about. Scholars benefit from input from their peers, their own Mentors and have access to other SC Mentors. Mentors benefit from input from and support of other Mentors, opportunities to interact with their Scholar in a controlled, structured way and opportunities to interact with Scholars other than their own.
Estimated time commitment for the academic year = 40 hours and includes:
Orientation and Resources - Mentors are provided with minimally 2 resources: Big Questions Worthy Dreams by Sharon Daloz Parks (the philosophical basis of our SC work) and The Mentor’s Guide by Lois Zachary (the practical guide and “how to” for Mentors). A 2-hour orientation for Mentors is scheduled in late August.
One-on-Ones with the Scholar - minimally 5 per semester. For trust to be established within the relationship it is important for there to be face to face meetings where each person in the relationship has an opportunity to share who they are and learn some things about each other. Best practices suggest there needs to be frequent, consistent contact to start with. In addition to the face-to-face meetings, checking in via email, texting and phone calls is appropriate and highly recommended.
Large group gatherings - 2-4 per semester. Two are more “work” related, the others more “fun” related where we partake in some type of cultural activity. Again this provides the group the opportunity to come together to get to know each other, to reflect on and share specific aspects of our work.
Celebratory events - 3 per year. The Gala Dinner and Kick-off in the fall, a Holiday pot luck gathering in December and a year end Graduation Recognition celebration acknowledging the success of Scholars who are completing their undergraduate work and recognizing the work of their mentors.
Assessments/Evaluations/Check-ins - I check-in frequently with the Mentors (and Scholars) to see how things are going. At the end of the year I ask each participant to do 2 evaluations: 1) program evaluation and 2) evaluation of their partner. The evaluations that Mentors do of their Scholars serve as the “Letter of Recommendation” for the Scholar’s Renewal Application and serve as feedback for the Scholar. Program evaluations are used to assess program effectiveness and restructuring.
Current Mentors (2009-2010)
Trena Bolden Fields ’00 is a certified life coach, artist representative, and actress who utilizes her creative abilities and career counseling background to assist people through the exploration process. Trena has a strong passion for the arts and believes in empowerment and change. In her 10-year working career, she has served as a career counselor, advisor, advocate, program director, diversity consultant, and instructor/educator. She received her undergraduate degree in theater arts and mass communication from Augsburg and holds a master’s degree in educational psychology, counseling, and student personnel psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Trena strives to help people learn more about their skills and abilities while helping them make steps toward achieving their goals.
Beverly Bushyhead ’98 is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She grew up on the Qualla Boundary Indian Reservation in Cherokee, NC. Ms Bushyhead has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 15 years and is committed to community and cultural inclusion. She holds a BA in psychology from Augsburg and is currently pursuing dual master’s degrees in nonprofit management and public administration at Hamline University. Ms Bushyhead has a background in project management and enjoys building teams, community organizing, and creatively contributing to community solutions. Her greatest recent accomplishment is surviving cancer. Beverly is the mother of 3 children and lives in Inver Grove Heights.
Georgette Christensen ’96 MSW is an enrolled member of the White Earth Annishinabe. Currently she works for Hennepin County as a Team Lead/Family Empowerment Coach at Little Earth of United Tribes Housing in a collaborative effort between Little Earth and Hennepin County. Georgette has a number of years experience working with families and children, focusing on Indian Child Welfare and keeping families together. Georgette has experience working with Child Protection, foster care, housing eligibility and case management. She also has nine years management experience with non-profit and reservation settings. Georgette is married to David (Mandan/Hidatsa) and has three daughters.
Don Flower ’95 is the information services manager at The Minneapolis Foundation. Don leads a technology team and oversees all system development efforts for the Foundation. He also has a background in project management, network administration, and software development. Don is currently serving in the US Naval Reserve with NIOC Minneapolis. He volunteers his time in the American Indian community and is the current board president of the American Indian OIC in Minneapolis. Don holds a BA in history from Augsburg. He has completed his master certificate in project management from Villanova University and has also completed a business information systems certificate from Fort Hays State University.
Tony Genia ’85, MD received his BA from Augsburg. During his undergraduate education he served as president of the Augsburg College Intertribal Student Union (1983-85). He attended the University of Minnesota Medical School, during which time he served on the executive council of the Association of Native American Medical Students (chairperson from 1989-90). Tony then attended the University of New Mexico, completing a residency in emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico Hospital in 1993. Currently, he is certified as a diplomat of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. His principal practice is at the Fairview University Medical Center in Minneapolis. Tony was elected to the Augsburg College Board of Regents in October 2004.
Gianna Koné ’02 (Religion) is a native Twin Cities resident. Gianna grew up in the Whittier Neighborhood of south Minneapolis where she returned to work in 1998 for the Bethlehem Community Center, a non-profit organization specializing in education and self-sufficiency, now a part of Project Pride for Living (PPL). As a youth development program coordinator until 2005, Gianna enjoyed working with students from diverse communities who were interested in gaining access to higher education opportunities- many who would become first generation college graduates.
In 2005 Gianna was given an opportunity to work with under-represented communities in the small business arena through managing the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) business banking portfolio for Wells Fargo Bank. Through MEDA Gianna offered training, support, and finance expertise to minority small business owners in the Twin Cities metro; ensuring that minority owned businesses receive the support they need to remain successful, and have an un-biased advocate in the banking realm to assist with their financial sustainability. Now a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program, Gianna is an advocate for the education and empowerment of underserved minority communities, and remains active as a teacher in the children’s ministry at Speak the Word Church, International, a mentor, and a volunteer for local non-profit organizations like Briding, Inc. In the near future, Gianna looks forward to completing her Plan B Thesis paper for the MAL program, and hopes to apply for the MBA program at Augsburg College.
Carlos Martinez ’01 was born and raised in Bogotá, Columbia. He graduated first in his senior class in 1995 in Bogotá. He moved to Minnetonka, MN in 1996 to fine-tune his English skills and planned to return to Colombia for college. After one year of working on his English skills, he was admitted to Augsburg where he completed his major in finance with minors in accounting, economics and MIS. While at Augsburg Carlos was captain of the soccer team during his junior and senior years. After graduating he accepted a job in the reinsurance industry and is currently an assistant vice president at one of several Minneapolis-based reinsurance intermediary firms. Carlos and his beautiful wife, Courtney (a first grade teacher) are the proud parents of 18-month old Lucas.
Juliana V. Martinez ’02 was born and raised on Colombia until the age of 17. She came to the US after graduating from high school to learn English and pursue a college degree. She graduated from Augsburg with a MIS major and business administration minor. Juliana has worked in the technology field for about nine years while in school and post graduation. She currently works for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as a systems analyst. She is expecting to graduate in December 2009 with an MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas. Her normal days consist of work, school and chasing after her 1-year old son Diego.
Michael Morris ’96 graduated from Augsburg with a degree in elementary education. He’s been employed by Minneapolis Public Schools as an associate educator at Dowling School for the last thirteen years. Michael is married with two children ages ten and fifteen. He enjoys basketball, fishing and hanging out with family and friends. He’s looking forward to meeting his new mentee and giving back to the Augsburg community.
Maiying Thao ’00 was born in Laos. Her family migrated to the US from Thailand in 1982. She graduated from Augsburg with a BA in biology. After working as a quality assurance tech for several years at Synovis Surgical Innovation, Maiying and her husband opened a staffing agency that she manages today. She loves being able to match people from her community to good jobs and great companies. She is the financial director for their church and is also an independent life insurance agent. Maiying in married and has 3 children.
Saroja Thapa ’06 was born and raised in Nepal and came to Minneapolis to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. She graduated from Augsburg in 2006 with a double major in Accounting and Finance. While at Augsburg, Saroja served as a treasurer for Student Government for two years and was also the President of ISO her junior year. She also participated in the short -term spring break study abroad to Cuernavaca, Mexico and worked on different community projects. After graduating from Augsburg College, Saroja accepted a position at Deloitte Tax. She has been with Deloitte for two years working as a senior corporate tax consultant. Saroja loves taking trips up to the North Shore, especially Grand Marais and enjoys travelling.
Jaime Witt ’03 graduated from Augsburg with a BA in business administration and specialization in management. She studied abroad in a theater course in London in 2002. After graduation she became a manager at Nordstrom and Tommy Bahama. She enjoyed working in retail management but wanted to be part of the change that is needed in the American Indian community and switched careers. She is currently resident service coordinator for the Wilder Foundation’s Elders Lodge. Jaime loves basketball and traveling.