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The primary goal of this program is to build networks for VCU students by connecting them to adults in the community, especially Richmond-area United Methodist Church (UMC) congregants, who can also help guide their civic and professional aspirations.

 

This program will support young adults in their vocational discernment, serve to develop relationships across races and cultures, deepen and enrich the vitality of the participating United Methodist Church congregations, and help develop public understanding of the contributions people of faith make to our greater civic well-being.

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​Why become a mentee?


Mentorship allows Richmond professionals to use their career skills, life experience, and network to provide VCU students and new alumni with advice and network connections to help inform their school and career choices. Mentors can share their skills and knowledge, help you clarify your educational and professional goals, help you to increase your professional network, and help you with career decision making as you begin to transition from a student to a professional.




Why become a mentor?


As Pace has grown in numbers and diversity over the years, we have begun to see that students without local networks are at a significant disadvantage. They struggle to connect with internships for experience and required shadow hours. They seek guidance from academic advisors only to find that their advisor is overwhelmed or completely absent. They work hard to get a degree, but without support they struggle to find the next step. Members of the 68 Richmond-area United Methodist Churches and their networks are filled with the gifts that can open doors otherwise inaccessible to these students. Research shows building social capital is a key element in helping students make the most of their college education. Your knowledge, skills, gifts, and networks can help our most vulnerable students break through the glass ceiling and flourish professionally. We have found that once mentors and mentees connect around similar career interests and passions, they form relationships that cross generational and cultural divides that rarely exist in our society today. Adding your information to our mentor pool greatly enriches our program. The more mentors we have, the better the chances of matching our mentees with adults who have experience in their field of interest. Becoming a mentor will enable you to make a difference outside the walls of your church or workplace by using your experience and gifts to help a new generation grow and thrive.




What will the time commitment be?


For both mentors and mentees, the minimum commitment will be about 6 hours of your time throughout the semester, that will break down as follows: - Get-to-know you Interview to be able to appropriately pair you (40 mins) - Complete Training materials (1.5 hrs) - Have two meetings with your mentor (2 hrs) - Provide feedback about the program (1 hr)




I just graduated, am I still eligible to be a mentee?


Yes! VCU alumni can still participate in the program.




I signed up to be a mentor, but was never paired.


Thanks for signing up to be a mentor! If we were unable to pair you during this round, please know your ongoing participation is essential to the success of our program. The more mentors in our pool, the more variety of experiences, and the better matches we can make for future mentees. We will store the information you provide during your Listening Survey and include you in our mentor pool for future mentees unless we hear from you otherwise. We expect to have two to three rounds of matches each year. You will still receive an email notification if a match is not made.




I signed up to be a mentor, but I think I may be too busy. Can I defer?


If you feel that your schedule is currently too full to take on a mentor role, that's ok! Please let us know. We'll reach out to you during our next round of pairings to see if you're ready.




I signed up for a Listening Survey Interview but was never contacted.


Pace's student leaders have been vital in developing this program and are in charge of conducting our Listening Surveys. They are learning from this experience and sometimes make mistakes. If you scheduled a Listening Survey but weren't contacted with follow-up information, please don't hesitate to reach out to Jean at operations@thepacecenter.com.




Do I have to be a Methodist to participate?


Nope! While Pace is asking many Richmond-area Methodist Church members to participate in the program, we welcome mentors and mentees of all backgrounds.