If you're having trouble reaching your mentee, you're not alone! The time after high school is a big time of transition, and there is far less structure and support for your mentoring relationship. If you're feeling frustrated, check out this video with advice from post-secondary mentors and mentees about why it can be hard to keep the relationship going after high school - and why it's so important.
Then, check out the tips below from seasoned mentors and program managers:
1. Try multiple means of communication: many students don't check email regularly these days, so texts may work better. But if you're having trouble reaching your mentee by phone, try Facebook messenger or other forms of social media. One mentor remembers how much she enjoyed getting snail mail letters in college, and says she tries to send a note in the mail a few times a year (without expecting a reply, of course).
2. Let your program manager know that you can't reach your mentee. It's relatively common for mentees to change their phone numbers and forget to update their mentors even if the mentee still wants to be in touch. Your program manager may be able to figure out better contact information.
3. Reach out regularly - this may sound futile, but it is sometimes just a matter of a temporary disruption in service, or it may just be that your mentee is busy going through a particularly busy time. One long-time post-secondary program manager points out that many college students disappear during the semester, and re-surface during break, or when they have an issue registering for classes the next semester.
4. Remember when you were a college student - another program manager remembers that he was "terrible" about returning his parents' - or any adults' - calls when he was in college. He says, "young people are excited to be on their own for the first time, and they're really busy, so they may not always get back to you" but it's important to know that they have a team of adults rooting for them and there to support them when they need it.