Frequently Asked Questions
For Prospective Mentors
Who can mentor?
Mentors must be females over the age of 25 with a college education and reliable transportation. Our program is designed to accommodate working professionals, graduate students, stay at home moms, empty nesters, retired women or, in other words, an array of lifestyles. We believe with a little planning and a desire to make a difference one will find the time.
Who are the mentees?
Mentees are current Mother Caroline Academy students in grades 7 and 8 as well as MCA alumnae in high school. They live in Boston neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale and Roxbury. Mentees may have parents with limited English language skills, demanding work schedules, pressing family needs, and limited exposure to higher education institutions.
What is the time commitment for a mentor?
Mentors are expected to spend a minimum of four hours a month including in person get togethers and telephone calls. Mentoring program staff also organize a number of group activities for mentors and mentees held on Saturdays throughout the year.
I’m not Catholic does this matter?
No. Mother Caroline Academy serves girls of all faiths, races and cultures from Boston neighborhoods. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, that recognizes the dignity of each person, the Academy emphasizes the importance of scholarship, leadership, spiritual, and moral development.
What is the process to becoming a Mentor?
Mentors complete and submit an application to the Director of Mentoring. After the application is reviewed, the Director will set up an interview and tour of the school with the prospective mentor. When it is decided that a mentor will join the program, she will be asked to participate in an initial training. New mentors are also required to participate in a Fall Kick-off event at which new mentors and new mentees will get to know each other in a group setting. This event helps in for determining new mentor/mentees matches. At an October Potluck Dinner for mentors, mentees and parents, new mentor/mentee pairs are announced.
Where will my mentee and I meet and what will we do?
Monthly events are typically held on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to facilitate bonding between mentors and mentees. Activities range from painting, canoeing, skiing and community service events. In addition, mentors are encouraged to plan their own outings based on their interests and cultures. Some mentors like to attend their mentees sporting events and then go out to lunch. Others prefer to participate in Community Service activities such as Boston Shines. Through a partnership with Mass Mentoring sporting and cultural event tickets become available and are shared with matches. In addition, the match should work on goal setting, our program will provide each mentee and mentor with the book, 7 Highly Effective Habits of Teens to work on throughout the first year.
How will my mentee and I get to the events?
Most events are held in or around Greater Boston. Mentees, mentors and parents should form a communication plan about transportation. Typically mentors pick-up and drop off their mentee. Mentors need to have access to reliable transportation and be able to transport their mentee to the events. Access to a car/Zip Car, valid driver’s license, car insurance and registration is required.
Is there a cost associated with mentoring?
All of the monthly events run by MCA are free. We value our mentors time and we ask mentors not to give gifts over $25.00. This also promotes a level playing field for all mentors, as well as an opportunity for mentees to feel they are able to reciprocate equally in their giving.
What should I do if my child cannot attend a meeting with the mentor?
To encourage responsibility in your child, have him/her call the mentor when a meeting must be rescheduled. If your child is very ill, you may want to call yourself. Be sure you have the phone numbers to reach the mentor at home and at work.
What if a family’s plans conflict with a meeting?
Time with the mentor is not intended to displace time with the family. The tentative calendar is published six months in advance for family planning convenience. You should contact your mentor as soon as possible if there is a family conflict. Canceling less than 24 hours in advance is unacceptable.
How can I be sure that the mentor will support my expectations?
Talk with the mentor about issues that you expect to arise in her relationship with your child. If you have strict rules about places the youth may not go or foods she may not eat, please discuss these with the mentor. By making this information known at the beginning, you can help avoid misunderstandings later.
What if the mentor says things with which I do not agree?
No matter how carefully we match mentors and mentees, you may find some areas where your beliefs or ideas differ from your mentor’s. If these are important to you, let the mentor know. You can request that the mentor not question your most important beliefs or values when with your child.
What if there are concerns or questions I don’t want to discuss with the mentor?
Please feel free to call the Director of Mentoring. She is here to help make the program work for mentees, mentors and parents. She will call you several times during the year to see how things are going. But don’t wait for her to call; we want to know about anything that concerns you.
Where will mentee /mentors meet?
Monthly events are held on typically on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to facilitate bonding between mentors and mentees. Activities range from painting, canoeing, skiing and community service events. In addition, mentors are encouraged to plan their own outings based on sharing their own interests and cultures. Some mentors like to attend their mentees sporting events and then go out to lunch others prefer to participate in Community Service activities such as Boston Shines. Through a partnership with Mass Mentoring sporting and cultural event tickets become available and are shared with matches. Each relationship is unique and will form on its own. We encourage mentors to spend no more than $25.00 on outings.
Are parents/family members allowed to attend events?
90% of the events are for mentors and mentees only. We send the Evites to parents and mentees so they can communicate with their daughter and encourage her to reach out ASAP to her mentor to see if they will attend the event together.
How will my mentee and I get to the events?
Most events are held in or around Greater Boston. Mentees, Mentors and Parents should form a communication plan about transportation. Typically mentors pick-up and drop off their mentee. Mentors need to have access to reliable transportation and be able to transport their mentee to the events. It is the responsibility of the mentee/mentor and parent to communicate a transportation plan. MCA will not transport students to and from events.