All month long, BestPrep is celebrating National Mentoring Month and the incredible work of mentors around the country—especially mentors in our programs.
BestPrep runs two online-based youth mentorship programs: eMentors, the largest email mentoring program in the nation, and Cloud Coach, a program designed to help students identify and achieve their dreams through guided conversations developed in partnership with youth research organization, Search Institute. Both programs make mentoring easy. Mentors send one message a week based on a pre-selected topic, then meet their mentee in-person midway through the program. Where they differ is in their content—eMentors focuses on general business knowledge, Cloud Coach on future aspirations.
BestPrep believes mentoring can change lives, and this month, we’re putting that to the test. Over one thousand volunteers will participate in Cloud Coach to mentor students at four Minneapolis and St. Paul high schools. Business professionals from Allianz Life, Cargill, General Mills, Securian Financial, Thomson Reuters, Travelers, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo have raised their hand and volunteered to be Cloud Coach mentors. Ambitious work like this requires passionate volunteers, and we are lucky to have some of the most dedicated volunteers around.
Many of our Cloud Coach volunteers are long-time mentors and have been participating for years. Some even mentor more than one student a year. In light of the amazing dedication and passion of our volunteer mentors, we wondered: what keeps mentors coming back year after year?
We reached out to our most experienced volunteer to hear what fuels his passion for mentoring. Kevin Green of 3M has put in an incredible 320 volunteer hours, more than any other mentor in the past 10 years. What motivates Kevin? “The students are great. It is energizing to read the responses and see the kids grow in their understanding. The program is a two-way exchange and I think it is great to share experiences between different generations. Being part of the many people helping these kids grow and plan for their future makes me feel good.”
Mentoring is just one piece of BestPrep’s mission to prepare students with business, career, and financial literacy skills through hands-on experiences that inspire success in work and life. We offer 3 additional schoolyear programs: Classroom Plus and Financial Matters recruit volunteers to speak on business and career readiness topics in classrooms throughout the state. The Stock Market Game gives students the chance to practice investing in a simulation that reflects real-world conditions. Our summer programs include: Minnesota Business Venture, a one-week residential summer camp for students who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and leadership, and Technology Integration Workshop, an opportunity for teachers to learn how to incorporate the latest technology into their classroom.
This January, we encourage you to reflect on and thank the mentors in your life. And if you’re interested in becoming a mentor yourself—or volunteering in any of our other programs—you can find BestPrep on the web at www.bestprep.org