Ensuring the security and wellness of our participants is of the utmost important to iMentor; we prioritize creating a safe, healthy, and happy environment in which our mentees can pursue their interests. As a mentor, you play a role in stewarding the safety of your mentee by following program boundaries and rules and frequently communicating with iMentor staff.
This article will outline the most important rules, expectations, and boundaries for a healthy and safe mentor/mentee relationship in our Post- Secondary Program (PSP). All PSP mentors in the program are required to follow these rules. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your Program Manager.
Are you a high school mentor? Please check out the page for Boundaries and rules for interacting with your high school mentee.
Pairs are allowed to communicate using whatever system they would prefer. That includes the iMentor platform, as well as personal email, personal phone numbers, and social media.
- Program Managers are here to support you in your relationship with your mentee. If you communicate off the iMentor platform or application, you will need to share what was discussed with your mentee for your Program Manager's support.
- Mentors should model appropriate behavior with their mentees. Think about which social media you interact over; you will be able to see their pictures and images, and they will be able to see yours.
Behavior and Boundaries
As a mentor in PSP, we expect you to model appropriate behavior in person and online and keep top of mind that the focus of your pair relationship should be the aspirations and wellbeing of your mentee.
The following behaviors are not allowed:
- Driving one another in personal/rented vehicles (mentors driving mentees, mentees driving mentors). This is the case regardless of the age or licensing of the driver.
- Traveling on or participating in any water based activities (boat rides, water sports, etc.).
- Directing your mentee to any web sites, books, or other materials that contains objectionable or adult content (ex. Illicit substances, sexually explicit language), or bringing up those topics in conversation. If as a mentor you are unsure about whether material is appropriate for your mentee, contact your Program Manager.
- Engaging in any inappropriate communication with students. Inappropriate communication includes, but is not limited to: verbal abuse, swearing, and racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise prejudiced language toward your mentee or others. If as a mentor you are unsure about whether something is appropriate for your mentee, contact your Program Manager.
- Disrespecting or dismissing the cultural, religious, and economic differences, ideas, and values of your mentee, their friends/partners, and their families.
- Exposing your mentee to inappropriate or illegal activities (taking your mentee to spaces that are not age appropriate, sharing illicit substances, etc.).
- Disregarding or defying any of the explicit or implicit iMentor boundary rules provided to you by your Program Manager.
If your mentee exhibits any of the above behaviors, you must notify your Program Manager immediately.
Student Health and Wellness
Mentors are one part of a large and multifaceted support system for their mentees; as mentees turn 18 and enter PSP, their support systems change to incorporate not only their family's and iMentor, but also their employers, schools, and/or community based resources. Your mentee may share information about their physical, mental, or emotional health that requires additional support. Your role as a mentor is to flag any concerning behavior or communications directly to your Program Manager; mentors are not positioned or expected to serve a counseling function or solve issues for students on their own.
Some examples of times to reach out to your Program Manager include:
- If your mentee suggests through thought or action that they may be thinking of hurting themselves or someone else.
- If your mentee suggests through though or action that they may be in a dangerous situation (at school, after school, at home, etc.).
- If your mentee shows significant behavioral changes in the way they communicate or show up within the mentoring relationship.
- If your mentee suggests through thought or action that they do not have a safe or consistent place to stay at night.
- If your mentee suggests through thought or action that they are having food scarcity concerns.
In such cases, your responsibility as a mentor is to contact your Program Manager to share the information. Your Program Manager will activate the appropriate network of supports that are already in place for your mentee. Do not attempt to handle these cases on your own; you and your PM will work together to suggest possible supports for your mentee that are appropriate and sustainable.