At the end of March we announced the start of a new mentoring program through our Council on Women and Girls, which matches up female undergraduate students in the DC area with women employees in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) areas of work. (Check out the March 30, 2011 blog post).

This week, our mentoring program leaders in our Office of Human Capitol held a mentoring forum for our new mentoring program, featuring a mentoring action plan workshop, networking, and an evaluation of how the program is going so far. While we just announced this new program four months ago, we now have 27 pairs of mentors and mentees who are actively working together through to advance the career goals of our mentors.

During the mentoring forum’s mentoring action plan and mentoring agreement workshop, mentors and mentees worked together to create documents that mapped out their goals, plans, and progress evaluation points for their mentoring relationship. Office of Human Capitol staff provided information to the pairs on the importance of completing the mentoring action plan and mentoring agreement, and how to develop a plan, after which, the pairs began working on their plans and agreements.

The next activity will be a Mentees’ Forum in August. This will give mentees an opportunity to share ideas, challenges, and suggestions that would help to improve the STEM program.

As we said during the announcement of this program, mentors have proven to be effective teachers for developing our nation’s future leaders. Studies show, for example, that mentored youth have better attendance in school, a better chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school in general. Mentoring helps reduce the incidence of substance abuse and other harmful behaviors. And, young people who take part in mentoring programs have higher self-esteem. We’re excited to see those benefits taking place through our new program.

For more information about our mentoring program, call our office at (202) 586-8383.