Archive | January 2013

10 Questions to Inspire Mentoring

With January drawing to a close, activity in the mentoring community is likely to slow down a bit. In order to help your program carry some of that National Mentoring Month momentum into February, here are some questions you can use to inspire people to become mentors.

10 Questions to Inspire Mentoring

  1. How has mentoring made a difference in your life or in your community?
  2. If you had a mentor, how did this person or people make you feel special? How did they help you get where you are today?
  3. If you were a mentor, how did you change from this relationship?
  4. What do you think are challenges young people in our community face today?
  5. What do you think are strengths possessed by youth in our community today?
  6. Who is responsible for making sure young people become happy, healthy, successful, and productive young adults?
  7. How can we work together in our community to make sure that no child is left behind and that every youth feels like she has something to offer this world?
  8. How can you help – can you personally volunteer time, donate money or in-kind services or goods, or connect us to more opportunities?
  9. How can people, companies, and institutions in your network help?
  10. How can we let more people know that a small investment in time now becomes worth it when you see a young person thrive over time?

A Home Within’s Re-launching of Fostering Relationships

Today’s post comes courtesy of A Home Within’s Program Director Saralyn Ruff. For more information about A Home within, check out their website.

A Home Within is excited to announce the re-launching of Fostering Relationships (, our web-based knowledge-sharing platform for mentors and staff working with foster youth. For the past two years we have piloted this program with great success. Many have given us the feedback that our resources for pregnant and parenting youth and transition-aged youth have helped them build lasting and strong relationships with their mentees, but that they want more!

This month we will be expanding Fostering Relationships, adding more curricula for working with teen parents and new curriculum for LGBTQ youth. We will also be providing Spanish versions of all resources, and links to helpful books, articles, tools, local and national agencies. We also have plans to add self care materials for mentors and begin to spot light foster youth as experts who will answer mentors’ questions. We are excited about this and hope Fostering Relationships supports you in the amazing work you do!

Thanks Warriors!

Thanks to the Golden State Warriors for allowing 25 mentor-mentee pairs from 12 of the 35 Bay Area Mentoring partner programs to enjoy a wonderful evening at last Friday’s game! Aside from witnessing an exciting Warriors win, our attendees were given an all-access tour of Oracle Arena, watched pre-game shootaround from courtside, and were even featured on the jumbotron at the start of the 3rd quarter. To top it all off, the Warriors kept their cool and held off a late rally by the opposition started by Oakland’s own Damian Lillard and hung on to win with a final score of 103 – 97. Definitely an experience that just goes to show you that mentoring works. 

Thank Your Mentor Day

As a highlight of National Mentoring Month 2013, Thank Your Mentor Day™ will be celebrated January 17. On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided them, and had a lasting, positive impact on their lives.

Thank Your Mentor Day promotes “Four Ways to Honor Your Mentor”
  1. Contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation;
  2. Pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community;
  3. Make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program; and,
  4. Write a tribute to your mentor for posting on the Who Mentored You? website.
You can download a Thank you card from the Campaign Marketing Materials page.


  1. Have mentees make and send Thank-You notes to their mentors’ place of employment or home.
  2. Highlight mentors in your program’s newsletter or have your Executive Director write an Op-Ed for your local newspaper/feed highlighting the importance of NMM and thanking mentors directly.
  3. Ask your local, state, or national representatives to produce Certificates of Appreciation for each of your mentors and hold an award ceremony or other fun activity with food and entertainment for your mentors.
  4. Plan a “You Take the Cake” thank you gathering in the office with cupcakes and punch, inviting mentors and mentees as a way to thank mentors.
  5. Hold a raffle for gift cards and prizes for your mentors or ask a special donor to contribute gift cards for all your mentors.
  6. Plan a study break with food and refreshments on campus to thank your undergraduate and graduate student mentors.
  7. Mail or hand out special mementos (water bottles, t-shirts, pens, etc.) that display thanks as a gift to your mentors.
  8. Deliver breakfast to your mentors at your mentoring sites.
  9. Hold a special open house/mentor appreciating night where you can thank mentors and share more information about your program with potential volunteers.
  10. Post a thank you message on your social media accounts and post a thank you message on your mentors’ accounts, if you’re linked.
Thanks to Mass Mentoring Partnership for several of these ideas.
*Thank Your Mentor Day™ is an initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health.

National Mentoring Month

For us members of the mentoring community, January a.k.a. National Mentoring Month is a pretty hectic time of the year. It’s the one month of the year we beef up our efforts to help spread the word about mentoring and all the positives it entails for both mentors and mentees. Some important dates to mark on your calendar are:

  • January 10th (Tomorrow!) – I Am A Mentor Day on Social Media; a day when anyone who is a mentor or supporter of mentoring is encouraged to use their social media outlets to promote mentoring. Change your profile pics to this web badge and have your mentors share their experiences with your program to their followers, friends, etc.
  • January 17th – Thank Your Mentor Day; a day where anyone who’s ever had a mentor should take the time to give their mentor a shout-out and express their gratitude to them for the positive impact he or she has had on their life
  • January 21st – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Celebrate the giving spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. by finding a way to give back to your community.

While these are the big dates of National Mentoring Month to keep in mind, take advantage of the heightened national exposure the mentoring community receives during this time of year and be sure to tell all your friends and family that mentoring works.

Happy National Mentoring Month!