A Discussion Group by any Other Name…

October 7, 2011 Mobius

“Do you have any suggestions for new mentoring activities that are not expensive?  How do you deal with cultural differences with your mentee and your mentee’s family?”  These questions came up this week when a group of mentors, some relatively new, and some veterans, met in the conference room at Heritage Aviation to talk about their mentoring experiences.  It was a fluid, informal discussion, led by Mobius Director of Recruitment, Marissa Wilkens.

Bowling was a helpful activity suggestion from Spectrum mentor Adam Bortz, III. Adam and Colleen Montgomery (left) enjoyed bowling with their mentees and coordinator Dee Johnson (center) at Spare Time Colchester earlier this year.

Always a crowd-pleaser, bowling was one of the suggestions on the activities question, which was brought up by Adam Bortz, III, whose mentee really enjoys bowling.  He has been a mentor through Spectrum for more than seven years. Marissa presented an entire page of activities recommendations for mentors.  Cultural differences, and finding that line between being sensitive to them and helping a young person assimilate, made for a lively chat, and was really helpful to the mentor who brought it up. (OK, it was me, the newly matched mentor of a twelve-year-old New American).

This meeting was the second one Mobius offered under the name “Mentor Follow-up Training,” but after two very successful meetings that were, in-fact, discussion groups,  Mobius has decided to call the series what is really is and hopefully attract even more mentors for the coming meetings.

Local mentors gathered at Heritage Aviation in May for the launch of the Mentor Follow-Up Training Series.

Colleen Montgomery is a mentor of five years through Spectrum.  She attended the first “Mentor Follow-up Training” session in May.  “I am not so sure that I think of it as a ‘training’ so much as a chat/support group. It felt good to be able to talk freely about our mentoring experiences – the good and the frustrating.”

Adam likes the way the discussion evolved, “It was a totally open format that allows people to garner what they need.  I’d keep it that way.”

The hope is that mentors who have a great deal of experience, and who really don’t need more “training” will attend the sessions and enhance the conversation.  For new mentors, like myself, it is helpful and inspiring to hear from seasoned mentors.

Look for information on the next Mentor Discussion Group soon.  Come and ask questions and/or share your wisdom and experience.  We all benefit from sharing about mentoring.