Dear future Mentor,
In the fall of 2011, the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) implemented Avanzando, a program designed to support Latinx students in reaching their academic and career goals. We are working in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) to improve retention, increase graduation rates, and ensure successful transitions into the workforce and/or graduate/professional school. Last year Avanzando provided support to over 70 UMKC Latinx students including many HDF scholarship recipients and we expect the program to grow significantly in the coming academic year.
What does service as an Avanzando mentor entail?
An Avanzando mentor:
1) Commits to and takes an active role in developing a meaningful relationship with a scholar throughout her/his academic career and fosters an environment where the scholar feels free to share successes, concerns and challenges.
2) Guides scholars in developing short term and long term educational and career goals.
3) Provides support and uses her/his position and expertise to create access to resources and opportunities that will enable a scholar to achieve established goals.
What is required of an Avanzando mentor?
Every mentor is asked to:
1) Participate in initial and ongoing training designed to prepare and support Avanzando mentors for their service to scholars. Mentor training is usually scheduled twice each year, early in the fall and spring semesters.
2) Participate in structured and informal relationship building activities with your assigned mentee(s). We hold an Avanzando Welcome Reception to kick off the fall semester and a Year-end Celebration of Graduates each spring.
3) Communicate with her/his scholar with a frequency that ensures the student receives support and can access needed resources in a timely fashion. Communication can be via text, email and/or social media but meeting face to face at least monthly is required.
4) Cooperate with requests for information and data that provide for assessment of program success and challenges. Mentors are asked to report on number of contacts and progress toward mentee goals at the end of each semester.
I hope this information is helpful as you give serious consideration to sharing your knowledge, skills and expertise through service as a mentor to a young Latinx scholar on our campus. I look forward to discussing your participation in greater detail, providing additional program details, and addressing any questions you may have. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816)235-6706.