Mentor a Scholar

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Scholarship Plus mentor! The guidance scholars receive from members of the SPlus community is invaluable. We create thoughtful mentor/mentee matches that amplify the program’s holistic and individualized support based on each student's personal and professional needs. 

There are lots of important qualities of a strong mentor, and these are some of our favorites:

  1. People tell me I’m a good listener.
  2. I’m interested in what motivates people.
  3. I dig a little deeper to understand important issues or challenges.
  4. I admit when I don’t have the answers.
  5. I see more than one solution to a problem.

Source: BizCatalyst 360°

Research shows that students from low-income families and racial-ethnic minorities succeed academically when provided key supports: social-emotional and behavioral tools; adults who believe in them; and targeted programs teaching skills for the transition to and through college.

The beginning of college, especially for first-generation-to-college students, is a pivotal time for the introduction of a mentor. In our work, we are regularly reminded that college is not merely an extension of the high school experience, but one that poses a series of completely new, and often more complex, personal and academic challenges for low-income students, and especially those who are students of color at Predominantly White Institutions, or PWI. 

Scholarship Plus intentionally selects students who can most benefit from an advocate in their corner. In addition to providing this support directly, a core component of our approach is teaching our students how to advocate for themselves. We strongly believe in providing scholars with tools, so that even while we continue to be in their lives, they grow increasingly empowered to act as agents of change for themselves.

The natural intersection of learning to advocate for oneself and observing this skill in others is mentorship. 

What we ask mentors to commit to conceptually:

  1. Meeting the scholars where they are and joining them on a journey to self-actualization;
  2. Employing a culturally responsive approach in which mentors “genuinely embrace, work with, and continually learn about cultural differences” (National Mentoring Partnership);
  3. Following the Search Institute’s Developmental Relationships Framework; and
  4. Supporting the scholar in discovering their “spark” — a key element to social-emotional thriving

And logistically:

  1. Mentors should meet with their mentee in person at least once a semester during one of the school breaks, and contact the scholar via e-mail/text/phone once a month;
  2. Complete provided self-assessment tool to track progress toward goals;
  3. Share any concerns with Scholarship Plus point-person as they come up; and 
  4. Complete an evaluation at conclusion of each school year to help develop and improve your partnership and MentorPLUS for the following cycle 

While we hope that mentors will stay with scholars through their college journeys, we ask for at least a one-year commitment of June to May so that a meaningful relationship has time to build. 

One of our scholars said it best: “When I felt alone watching my peers ask their parents to read over papers or for internship connections, messages from Scholarship Plus would remind me that I wasn't alone, and that I had a caring, kind, and supportive community a phone call away. When people ask me about SPlus, I make sure they hear about the 'plus'. Because the plus matters."

Apply to be part of the PLUS here.