Calling all Reno/Sparks community professionals! TMCC is seeking new mentors for Spring 2019 Nevada Promise Scholarship applicants.
The Nevada Promise Scholarship is an award given to college students who are attending community college in Nevada for the first time. As a part of the program, scholarship participants are assigned a mentor who helps them from their last semester in high school through their graduation or transfer from TMCC. This year, TMCC is looking to add over 350 new mentors from the community.
As a new student, it can be hard to tread the waters of college for the first time. It can be especially hard if you don’t have a support system that will help you learn what to expect in your first few months of college. That’s where the mentor comes in. Mentors don’t need to be an expert in everything, all that’s required of them is to offer support and assistance when a mentee is in need, but one of the most important things a mentor does is share their own personal educational and professional accomplishments and challenges they have faced to join the professional community.
“You don’t need to be a college expert or have all the time in the world. All you need to do is care!” said Yuli Chavez, 2018 Nevada Promise Mentor. “You can be a hero to a young person in our community.”
Mentors meet with their students once per semester, and are encouraged to be an active part in their educational journey from start to finish. You don’t need to have any special qualifications to become a mentor, just a passion for helping others succeed. Mentors are often matched with students who have similar goals or career interests in order to better streamline the mentor-mentee connection. Along with guidance and support, a mentor can offer students an introduction into networking and how to have a professional relationship in the community.
“Our goal is to match you with someone who you have similar educational interests with. On the student Nevada Promise application, we ask the student what they’re interested in and what they might want to pursue in college. If they tell us there’s a specific area they want to learn about, we can use that to match them with a mentor in that field,” said Angela South, the Nevada Promise Scholarship Coordinator.
The mentor program is a low-stakes commitment; it only takes 3-5 hours per semester to mentor a student. That includes approximately one hour to meet in person with your mentee, and the rest of the time is allotted for support through email or phone throughout the semester when needed. You are not obligated to know the answers to everything, just offer support and guidance! TMCC will provide you with the essential information and give you all the resources you will need to be an effective mentor.
“The Nevada Promise Mentor Program is open to anyone who really wants to make a difference. Maybe you don’t know how you can give back. This is a great way to do that and it doesn’t require a lot of time,” South said. “I hope that people who might not know how they can help will consider becoming a mentor and start making a difference little by little, which will eventually benefit the whole community.”
Steps to Become a Mentor
- Apply online by November 15. A criminal history report will be conducted by TMCC.
- Complete mandatory mentor training no later than December 15. This can be completed online or in person.
- Placement: mentors will be matched with one or more students.
- Meet with mentees once per semester, starting January until your mentee(s) graduates from TMCC.
- After you are matched with your mentee(s), complete first mentor meeting with all mentees no later than April 30.