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Frequently Asked Mentor Questions

What does a mentor do?

IMG_2008 copyA mentor volunteers one hour to meet with the same student each week. Mentor and student pursue activities that are mutually enjoyable – things like reading, playing board games, and doing arts and crafts. During these meetings, a mentor offers support, guidance, and encouragement. The adult accepts responsibility for being on time, prepared, and positive. Mentor and student focus on building a positive relationship founded on fun and trust.

I’m not very good at English, Math, or Science. Can I be a mentor?

You don’t need special academic skills to be a mentor. Mentoring is not tutoring. Though you may choose to fit in some academic assistance during or after your regular mentoring sessions, mentoring time is all about fostering a close relationship with the student that you meet each week.

How frequently do mentors and young people get together? Where do they meet? For how long?

Mentors and students meet for one hour each week, usually after school. They meet on school grounds or engage in up to nine off-campus activities per year, which always include another adult. If you can’t commit to meeting with your mentee regularly, being a mentor might not be the best volunteer option for you. However, there may be other volunteering opportunities with Grand Area Mentoring.

How long am I expected to commit to the mentoring relationship?

New mentors are asked to commit for one year. For students who sometimes lack consistency Grand Area Mentoring provides reliable, consistent adults. Benefits of mentoring are usually correlated to match length. The longer a relationship lasts, the more a student will gain.

What sorts of activities do mentors and young people do together?

You may play board games, read, or do puzzles with your mentee. You might want to show him or her a hobby or demonstrate a craft that you have mastered. Maybe your mentee wants to practice catching a football. Or perhaps your mentee enjoys Pokemon cards and wants to teach you about them. Mentors and students engage in the world. There’s a lot to talk about, play, learn, research, ponder, and discover. As long as it’s appropriate to the school environment, it’s included in our mission.

How do I get the relationship started? Does Grand Area Mentoring help me?

First, you attend Grand Area Mentoring’s new mentor orientation. At this training, you learn about mentoring best practices and gain a host of mentoring activity ideas. After fully completing the application process, the relationship starts with a facilitated first meeting. The mentor coordinator goes over some programatic details and then introduces an activity or two. Typically the mentor and student spend the mainder of the first session playing a game or doing arts and crafts. The getting-to-know-you process is done in a fun and relaxed manner. Thoughout your relationship, Grand Area Mentoring offers regular support, supplemental training, and in-person assistance.

How old are the children I will mentor? What are they like?

Grand Area Mentoring students range from kindergarten (5 years old) through twelfth grade (17 years old). A new volunteer chooses a general age group from which their mentee will be selected. Students of all ages are waiting for mentors. These students are as diverse as the Grand County community in their desires, backgrounds, and personalities. Grand Area Mentoring focuses on supporting students who need it most, whether it’s for academics, social difficulties, bullying, or some other challenge. Each participating student wants a mentor, and their parent or guardian must give permission.

Do you train and prepare the students too?

Grand Area Mentoring prepares students to be mentored with orientation and training sessions. Each student is familiar with program policies and procedures, including reporting and personal safety requirements such as reporting inappropriate mentor conduct.

What happens if I run into a problem with a young person?

If you have any concerns or questions about your relationship with a student, contact Megan McGee, the mentor coordinator, who can be reached at 435-260-9645 or grandareamentoring@gmail.com. Daniel McNeil, Program Director, can be reached at 260-9646. Staff will help you solve the challenge at hand. Megan and Dan provide advice, support, and feedback regarding effective mentoring practices and fruitful relationships.

How will I know if I am making a difference?

Grand Area Mentoring helps citizens enrich this world through interaction with youth. By just showing up, you will be making a difference. Mentors look for little things. The difference mentors make is measured by trust and friendship. That is success.

You will probably see a slow but steady development of interest in your relationship. Over the course of a year, your mentee will begin to open up and have a higher attachment to school. Since mentoring is more like running a marathon than running a mile, just remember it’s not about making massive strides right now; it’s about making many small strides for a year. Small steps and little improvements in social skills measure success. If you show up, are ready to have fun, and care about our students, you will invariably make a difference.

How soon will I be matched with a youth?

The matching and youth intake process takes some time. After your mentor orientation training, Grand Area Mentoring will usually take up to four weeks to match you with a student. Care and investment in set-up is what will help make your relationship with your mentee successful.

How do I become a mentor?

1. Learn More.

  • Go to the Grand Area Mentoring office and request more information. (505 North Mivida Drive, Moab — Stop by. We’re friendly and helpful.)
  • Browse this website: http://www.grandmentoring.org
  • Call and talk with Dan, the program director. 435-260-9646

2. Submit an application. Applications can be found HERE. or you can call Dan at 260-9646 to request an application packet be mailed to you. Once complete, please send the application to:

Grand Area Mentoring
264 South 400 East
Moab, UT  84532

3. Following invitation to participate, attend the orientation and training session.

Learn about mentoring in Moab. Grand Area Mentoring will give you tools, strategies, and activities that will make mentoring fun and simple. Along the way you will learn about the schools, develop new skills, and meet nice people.

4. Meet Dan and Megan for an interview.

This is a short interview that helps the Grand Area mentoring staff learn more about you and match you with the appropriate student.

5. Meet your mentee.

Once you have satisfactorily completed all the application steps, you and your mentee will meet with Megan, the program coordinator, for the first time.

6. Have fun.

Do you need references or to conduct a background check on me?

To ensure we choose the best volunteers possible, we need two personal references, and the school district will also conduct a fingerprint background check.