What is Mentoring?

A mentor is an adult who, along with parents and teachers, provides young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and a constructive example. Mentors are good listeners, people who care, and people who want to help young people bring out strengths that are already there.

Future City Competition mentors are engineers representing any technical discipline or profession who are both willing and qualified to provide the guidance to the students and support of the teachers through the life of the competition. The mentoring relationship can take many forms. In the best relationships, the mentor will help the students define and achieve the goals of the competition.

A Future City engineer-mentor should expect to spend 25-40 hours from September - January working with the student teams.

As a mentor, you will help your mentee:

Matching Mentors, Schools and Students

The people you would want as mentors are the people who are doing everything else as well. They are involved in their profession, active in community affairs, they participate in multi-disciplined teams and are willing be dedicate the time and energy that will positively impact the student’s success.

While there are a multitude of potential reasons a technical professional is willing to become a mentor, four primary reasons are most common:

  1. Wants to support their 6th-8th grade child’s education
  2. Wants to make an impact on the education of middle school students in their immediate neighborhood
  3. Wants to make an impact on the education of middle school students in “underprivileged” areas or inner city schools
  4. Has established a relationship with a local school, school teacher or student group and feels they could use his/her technical expertise or experience

Any of these reasons are excellent rationale as a commitment to mentoring. When recruiting a mentor, one discussion point that should be made clearly with the prospective mentor is one of time commitment and time away from the job. Since the mentoring is normally school-based, the mentor must factor time away from the job (travel to and from, team mentoring) into the decision. In addition, the time when the students or teacher needs the mentor on campus will be driven by when the team has the opportunity to meet. In some cases, teams meet before school, during lunch periods, during a class period or after school.  Only after considering all of these factors can the mentor determine which school is best for the mentoring assignment. There may be schools close to the job where time away is reduced.

There are several options that mentors can consider, among them are:


Click here for mentoring tips