Mentors…Wanted

Laura Bragg, Program Assistant, OME

As a member of the MIT community, I would venture to say at some point in your career, you have had a Mentor. The importance of that individual, or those individuals, has surely been invaluable. My question to you is, “Are you currently mentoring someone?” Whether you are or not, formally or informally, the Mentor Advocate Partnership (MAP) program in the Office of Minority Education provides an excellent opportunity to guide an undergraduate student.

Based upon the number of fall 2011 applicants, we anticipate serving approximately 100 protégés (a 14% increase) in the 2012-2013 academic year and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!  The mentor application form is available online; the early application deadline is May 15, 2012.

MAP is a volunteer mentoring program seeking to foster the holistic development of students along academic and non-academic dimensions. Studies show that students who are integrated and involved in both the academic and social mainstreams of campus life are more likely to graduate and have greater satisfaction with their collegiate experience. Our Mentors have the opportunity to guide MIT freshmen and sophomores, known as Protégés, in building relationships, academic endeavors, and personal well-being, while offering encouragement and providing a proactive support network. You will know your impact on a Protégé when you hear them say “I had an outlet – someone to talk to about things that were going on in my life – both the good and the bad.”

You may ask yourself, “What do I have to offer such bright and talented students?” Your knowledge of MIT and the Cambridge area, as well as personal experiences and triumphs are more than valuable to our students. There are a number of benefits your protégé will receive from you including but not limited to:

  • Improved self-confidence;
  • Eased discussions around academic and social difficulties; and
  • Personal and professional development.

As a mentor, you will ultimately have the opportunity to become a supporter, connector, champion, and friend.

MAP partnerships are designed to extend for two years, but our aim is for the connection between Mentor and Protégé to continue beyond the “formal” period. The estimated minimum time commitment for a mentor with one (1) protégé is 6-8 hours per semester. This includes meetings throughout the academic semester, attending MAP events, the end-of-year celebration, and time for emails and/or phone conversations. MAP strives to provide a personal community of support between the network of mentors and protégés at MIT and is designed to complement the current undergraduate advising system.

By now, you may be thinking, “MAP seems to have a bit of structure,” and we certainly do, but we also make time for fun – plenty of it! To build a strong community where protégés and mentors can find resources in a close-knit group, MAP also holds social events such as our “Night on the Town” in which we meet off campus for a meal and games.

All in all, you and the time you offer are the most valuable resources to our students! If interested, please contact us at mapmentoring@mit.edu with any questions or fill out a mentor application online. The early application deadline is May 15, 2012.