Mentors

Mentors

The goal of having a Mentor is to allow a participant to engage in a more personal relationship with an experienced individual who can:

  • Offer guidance on the participant’s individual pursuits,
  • Coach a participant’s professional development,
  • Provide the participant with support by listening or giving advice on life matters, and/or
  • Share his/her wisdom, advice, knowledge, and experiences.

Mentors are an optional engagement for participants.

Mentor profiles will be made available to participants in a private Mentor Portal for self-matching. The Mentor can confirm/deny the request and the engagement can begin as soon as both parties accept.

Mentors and Mentees are encouraged to continue their relationship after the end of the formal 4-week program.

 

Who are Advisors? Advisors are working or retired professionals who have experience in one of the three tracks of study (Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management) who will provide specific feedback and offer direct guidance about the project.

Participants will be put into
groups to collectively work on a
practical project utilizing Design
Thinking processes and principles.
They will present their solutions
during Week 12 of the program.

 

Advisors will be assigned to groups of 5-6 participants based upon the group’s choice of project theme/challenge they will address during the 4-week program.

 

Mentorship Program

Mentorship is a big part of the Center's 4-week program. Mentors are the role models, coaches, acquaintances, and guiding lights who will be a crucial part of developing our participants to positively improve their communities, enhance their leadership skills, and become global citizens. The goal of the Mentor/Mentee relationship is to offer both parties a chance to learn from each other and to build understanding across generations, culture, citizenship, backgrounds, etc.

Below are some questions that help to provide insight into the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa Mentorship Program.

Why Mentor?
A young person is out there who wants to hear from someone who has potentially been there, done that, and has lived to tell about it, or even more so, is successful at it. You may not realize that you are exactly the guide, coach, or guru that a young man or woman is looking for to help provide context, examples, share experiences, and to offer support.

Who is a Mentor?
A Mentor in the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa program is someone who has worked at least 5 meaningful (think professionally relevant) years and can use his/her own experiences to provide some perspective or specific skill guidance. S/he is interested in helping a Mentee to build leadership skills by exposing real life examples, sharing opportunities for growth, and helping to foster insights.

How Much Time Does it Take to Mentor?
It’s totally up to you, as the Mentor, and the Mentee. It can just be a Skype call thrice a month, frequent contact via email, face-to-face, phone calls etc. The point is not about time (although it works best if the Mentor and Mentee continue their engagement well past the 4-week program), but rather, it’s about the quality of the interaction and the help that the Mentee needs in order to continue down his/her leadership path. However, we encourage Mentors and Mentees to interact at least twice a week during the 4-week training if possible. At the end of the 4-week program, the Mentor and Mentee will have the option to continue their engagement or might feel that they have mutually achieved their set goals.

How is a Mentor and a Mentee Matched?
The best mentorship relationships are those that happen organically. As such, once a Mentor completes a form found here, a Mentor profile is built and shared on a private portal open only to participants of the YALI RLC West Africa program. Participants can then identify and request to be matched with a Mentor based upon the criteria that s/he is looking for in a Mentor – working in a particular sector, experience in a certain area, gender, country of location or origin, etc. Then we turn it over to the Mentor and the Mentee to figure out what works best and what they want to work on together.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Mentor?
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship. You will also learn new, alternative ways of thinking or approaching life’s challenges. You’ll be challenged to stay on top of industry/organizational/topical news and trends so that you can provide your Mentee with up-to-date advice. You will likely become more excited and enthusiastic not only for your line of work but also to continue improving yourself as you empower your Mentee to improve himself/herself.

Please note: We cannot guarantee a placement in a particular cohort because the matchmaking system depends upon the preferences and needs of the individual participant. Being a Mentor is voluntary and unpaid.

We sincerely appreciate your willingness to share your time, talent, skills, and knowledge with a young leader through the YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa Mentorship Program. For questions regarding the Mentorship Program, please contact the Participant Affairs Manager, Carolyn, at mentoring@yaliwestafrica.org.

Mentorship Resources

The YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa program is designed to offer resources, tools, and knowledge to participants to help them throughout their leadership journey (during and beyond the formal 4-week program). For this reason, we offer an optional opportunity to engage with a Mentor during the program. Mentors are the role models, coaches, acquaintances, and guiding lights who will be a crucial part of developing our participants to positively improve their communities, enhance their leadership skills, and become global citizens. The goal of the Mentor/Mentee relationship is to offer both parties a chance to learn from each other and to build understanding across generations, culture, citizenship, backgrounds, etc.

However, we cannot guarantee a placement because the matchmaking system depends upon the preferences and needs of the individual participant and the current pool of Mentors. There are LIMITED number of Mentee spots, so not all who apply will be matched with a Mentor. For Mentees who miss the one on one matching, we have put in place a mechanism of access to virtual mentorship resources that they may look up and find mentors matching their preferences. We encourage participants to get a mentor who will guide them during this exciting journey of transformative learning.