On June 15, 16, 17 and 18, students participating in the Washington Institutes were introduced to the D.C. professionals who were assigned as their mentor.
Four “Meet Your Mentor” breakfasts provided students and mentors with an opportunity to get together for the first time. The events were held at Clyde’s Restaurant in Chinatown.
“We think a facilitated first meeting will help mentors and students break the ice,” said Director of the U.S. Institutes Shane Mazzella. “The breakfast meetings remove the pressure around setting up a first meeting with someone you don’t know.”
Since adding the mentor program as a component of the U.S. Summer Programs, TFAS has made an effort to improve the program each year. Facilitated events and an increased number of mentors to allow for one on one matches were the two main goals this year. Participation by mentors is already on the rise, as over 30 mentors attended the student and alumni BBQ on Saturday, June 27.
Almost half of the 224 mentor volunteers came from the TFAS alumni network.
“I became a mentor simply because I had such a wonderful experience as a TFAS and IPVS student,” said Siri Buller (P 04). “If there is anything I can do to make another student’s experience just as fantastic or memorable, I am thrilled to do it.”
In an effort to recruit more mentors, TFAS has also partnered with a number of local groups who promoted the opportunity to its members. In addition, TFAS was happy to have mentors come from a number of internship sponsor sites. As a result, 2009 was the largest number of volunteer mentors to date!