Here is your mentor task checklist for the first winter/spring after high school. You can also click here to download a printable version of the checklist.
✔ Continue to build your relationship with your mentee.
( ) Focusing on the positive with strengths-based thinking will help get you off on the right foot, and if you can’t reach your mentee, don’t worry - just read these tips from staff and other mentors.
✔ Use the PSP goal-setting project to find out about your mentee’s goals for the next six months.
( ) Whether they are interested in getting their finances in order, taking care of their health, getting more hours at work, or trying out a class at a local community college, setting small and achievable goals can help.
✔ Learn about the stages of change.
( ) It’s easy to get frustrated, particularly if your mentee has been talking about going back to school for a while without actually doing it. Learning about the stages of change can give you a new perspective on these fitful starts (and may even help you make some changes of your own).
✔ Help your mentee grow at work.
( ) If your mentee has been working at the same job for several months or longer, there may be an opportunity to take on more responsibility (and earn more money). Most people fear feedback at work, but asking for feedback, and responding well can set a candidate apart when it comes time for promotion. Talk to your mentee about whether people get promoted at their job, and whether they have asked for feedback.
✔ Offer to help your mentee make a budget and/or do their taxes.
✔ Encourage your mentee to explore post-secondary education.
( ) If you haven’t yet read the iMentor tips on talking to your mentee about going back to school, read them. Many community colleges have May 1st deadlines, but they vary considerably by college and program. Learn about community college and major financial aid deadlines for your area by checking out iMentor’s Post-secondary database, or local and updated sites like the California Student Aid Commission.
What’s the best thing you ate over the holidays? Did you get or give any presents you really liked?
How was it seeing your friends back home for the holidays?
Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
How are things going with the goals that you had in the fall?
Does the weather affect your mood?
What kinds of things are you doing to take care of yourself?
How are things going at your job? Do you see yourself staying there for a while, or are you interested in making a change? Do people ever move up at your job?
A lot of people actually get money back from doing their taxes. Do you want help preparing your taxes and seeing if you get a refund
Do you have ideas about what you want to do this summer? Do you want help preparing your taxes?
As your mentee moves further away from high school, they will be less connected to the academic calendar, but after the holidays, mentees may go through another round of seeing their friends leave. If they work in retail, they may also experience the post-holiday rush either as a relief, or as a serious loss of income, or both.
Either way, the the New Year offers a good opportunity to check in to reflect and think about goals and resolutions. The more you as a mentor know about your mentee’s goals, the more you will be able to support them in their efforts, whether with social or health goals, financial goals, or academic or career goals.
It doesn’t all have to be heavy though; winter is a great time to plan a fun outing with your mentee, whether it’s to get a coffee, play some video games, or catch a basketball game.