At its core, Take Charge is a one-to-one community-based mentoring model. However, there are several structured elements of support provided to the mentees as well as mentors during their formal mentoring journey outlined below. These structured elements are designed to help mentors and their mentees enrich their one-to-one mentoring experience.
Program Management Team
The team to manage the Take Charge mentoring program on an ongoing basis consists of a Program Director and two full-time fellows. The fellows call every mentor and mentee regularly to check how their mentoring is progressing and to help to solve any issues that the mentor or mentee may be facing. The fellows are also actively involved in the buddy communities. The program management team is also responsible to organize various training, conference calls and other events, conduct surveys, publish newsletters periodically and manage our social media and website.
TAKE CHARGE APP
The Take Charge app is meant to facilitate the setting up of mentoring sessions and for mentor-mentee pairs to maintain a record of what was discussed at each session. It is a critical element for the Take Charge team to monitor the progress of relationships and reduce their need to make check-in calls with mentors and mentees.
Every mentor needs to be trained to be better equipped to be an effective mentor. They also receive training on mental health because of the challenges faced by the youth today. Mentors continuing from previous cohorts also receive refresher training. Conference calls are also held for mentors to address issues that they may be facing in their mentoring and where other mentors are encouraged to provide their guidance and advice, so that there is shared learning.
Several training and wellness workshops are conducted for the mentees throughout the tenure of each cohort. Topics for the training program are suggested by mentees. Since there is quite a broad age range of the mentees, 16 to 24 years, some topics may be relevant for everyone while others could be more interesting for older or younger mentees.
Surveys among the mentees are conducted at the start of each cohort, mid-way and at the end to get their feedback on various criteria. It helps the program management team to assess how much the mentees have progressed on different parameters.
Each cohort is split into 10 to 12 small communities consisting of mentors and mentees, led by an experienced mentor. The purpose of the community is for mentors to support each other and have bonding activities involving mentors and mentees.
Other Elements of the Support Structure
- We have four senior former mentors available on call to help with any difficult mentoring relationships and to participate as faculty or panel members in training events for mentors or mentees.
- Informal tie-ups with mental health professionals to assist mentees who may need professional advice and help.
- Google group for mentor community and WhatsApp group for mentee community.