If you are new to mentoring, it’s natural to have questions. Find some answers below.
No! Many Indiana’s programs require that volunteers commit to the program for one year, commonly for about an hour per week, because a long-term commitment provides the most benefit to the child. Mentoring meeting times can be flexible, taking place on a schedule that is agreeable to the mentor and the child, or at a specific time and location each week, such as lunchtime in a school.
The most effective mentors are those who are patient, committed and willing to listen to their mentees. Mentors come from diverse backgrounds and simply need to be willing to help a young person by being a consistent, caring adult.
Some mentoring relationships last for many years, others do not. In formal mentoring relationships, the guidelines are set by each program. This is an important question to ask program staff when you are exploring potential mentoring opportunities.
Most mentoring programs require very little or no financial commitment from a mentor. Usually gift giving is discouraged, unless it has been approved by the program coordinator. Volunteers should not feel pressured to take mentees on trips, on expensive outings, or to buy gifts. Ask your mentoring program coordinator for creative, low-cost, and fun activities to do with your mentee.