The HEAR Mentoring Program

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Muhammad Ali

How does the Mentor Program Work?

The HEAR Foundation Mentoring Program pairs HEAR Scholars with college-educated mentors across the Chicagoland area for two years. Mentors serve as guides to our under-resourced and often first-generation scholars through the start of their college careers. Mentors act as an additional support resource for our Scholars. They encourage their mentees to explore career opportunities, assist them with networking, and advise  Scholars on the soft skills that are important for success on a college campus, such as self-advocacy, time-management, and critical decision-making. HEAR Mentors support Scholars in developing these skills through role-modeling, dialogue, and collaborative problem solving. HEAR Mentors and Scholars often continue their relationship beyond the first two years and become life-long resources for each other.

How do we ensure the success of our mentoring program?

Our approach to mentor-scholar relationships is structured and intentional. Mentors go through initial Summer training and are provided with resources and materials throughout their mentoring engagement, which is two years. Regular social outings and workshops help build a solid platform of mentor-mentor interaction, and provide opportunities to address sensitive issues in-person. HEAR staff members and directors regularly check-in personally with both scholars and mentors to ensure flourishing relationships.

HEAR Scholars have access to support and advice through various platforms of interaction; with their incoming class; with other HEAR Scholars; and with the organization as a whole. HEAR also provides a peer-monitored forum for scholars through social media. We offer workshops and social events to address specific needs and interests, and to create cohesion among the scholars. In addition, HEAR Scholar Alumni regularly check-in with incoming and current scholars, sharing their expertise and experiences. Our goal is to provide several avenues of mentorship, addressing the individual needs of scholars at the various stages of their college career.

What does it take to be a HEAR Mentor?

To be eligible as a HEAR Mentor, you must……

  • Have a strong desire to form a connection with a highly motivated college student;
  • Live in the Chicagoland area, or near your mentee’s college campus;
  • Be a College Graduate yourself;
  • Possess at least two years’ working experience in a professional field.

As a Mentor, you commit to……

  • Completing a HEAR Mentor Application, Interview and Criminal Background check;
  • Attending Mentor orientation training;
  • Mentoring a HEAR Scholar for 2 years;
  • Meeting with your mentee in person at least twice a year and communicating at least twice a month (via phone, email or text);
  • Staying in regular contact with HEAR staff;
  • Attending social events.

What do I get in return?

Mentoring can provide benefits to both parts of the relationship! The majority of adult mentors report that they gained a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of being useful, needed and accomplished, and they reported a greater sense of satisfaction than those who had supported charitable efforts in less personal ways.

Mentoring can be a way to share your time and expertise, whilst at the same time building a meaningful relationship with yourself.