The concept of mentoring has a long history, one that comes to us from Greek mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, “Mentor” was the teacher of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. But Mentor was more than a teacher. Mentor was the union of both goal and path; wisdom personified. Today, some 3500 years later, mentoring relationships are still valued. In many professions, mentors help to enhance if not ensure the professional development and success of talented newcomers. Increasingly, schools such as Raisbeck Aviation High School are seeking mentors to assist students in developing high levels of knowledge and to help guide their academic and career development. The act of mentoring allows one to replay, in some measure, the intrinsic benefits s/he has derived from the profession and the community.
Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS) mentors play an important role in the school’s overall educational program. Mentors assist our students by:
- Serving as a professional friend, confidant and advisor to their academic and career development.
- Becoming a teacher, guide, coach and role model
- Sharing their knowledge and expertise to help nurture a student’s talent and ability
- Providing what he or she knows in a non-judgmental way
- Representing the skill, knowledge and attitudes required for success in higher education and careers in aviation and aerospace.
- Make sure you ask lots of questions. Mentors have a lot to teach you, but often don’t want to volunteer information.
- Find out about their education—where did they go to college, how long did they spend there, what degree did they earn, how has that benefitted them, etc.
- Find out about their career—did they always know what they wanted to do, how long have they worked where they work, would their job be interesting to you, etc.
- Maintain a professional relationship, but don’t be afraid to ask them for help in subjects that are stressing you out or advice for dealing with your education or career path. They want to help.
- Ask how school is going for your mentee. Feel free to offer useful advice if they have a problem.
- Ask about their education goals as they proceed through high school and into college. Encourage them to sit down and write out their short term (i.e. getting A’s this semester, passing the next test in their hardest subject, keeping a more organized planner, etc) and long term (i.e. getting accepted to a specific university, finding a career that they will enjoy, graduating with honors, etc.) goals. A helpful list of career paths can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics – Student Career Exploration.
- Supplement their goals with your experience. Most people don’t know as a high school student what they want to do for the rest of their lives, so tell them how your career path goals changed over time (if applicable).
- Talk about things you did to succeed, along with what they’re doing well at this point in their education. Figure out where they are in terms of graduating and either congratulate them on their progress or help them get to where they need to be.
- Try to find opportunities, if possible, to present your mentee with educational opportunities such as job shadows, workplace tours, and meeting with other professionals to discuss jobs.
- Ask about their current extra-curricular activities. For example, tell them to look at everything they do outside of school that would look good on a college or job application. Internships, clubs, and volunteer positions fit the bill. If they don’t have enough of these things, help them get to a position where they can apply for or work towards them.
Let the Career Center staff or Work-based Learning Coordinator, Renee Olsen, know of your interest in having a mentor. Ms. Olsen will have you complete a Mentor Request Form and begin the process of pairing you with a mentor. While the mentor program targets sophomores, any interested student will be considered for the program.
The Mentee Handbook is a great resource to use as you work with your mentor throughout the school year.
Please check back for an updated version of the Mentee Handbook.
- Learn in a real world work place experience beyond the classroom
- Be inspired and informed about your college and career aspirations!
- Make professional contacts and gain experience to strengthen your resume or application to top notch universities!
Your first step to becoming a mentor is to fill out our RAHS Mentor Application (both DOC and PDF) and the Highline School District’s Volunteer Application Disclosure Form (PDF). Click on the Word version below to download it on your computer. Open the document and click “save as” in your file menu. Change the file name by adding your name, e.g. Smith-RAHS_Mentor_Application.doc and save it on your computer. Type your information into the form, save, and email a copy to Renee Olsen or Debi Tranholt.
[Note: You can mail a completed print copy of the paperwork to Renee Olsen, Raisbeck Aviation HS Career Readiness Program, 9229 E. Marginal Way South, Tukwila, WA 98108.]
- Your application is received and processed by RAHS Mentoring Office. Depending on volume, this process can take up to a week.
- The student mentee preference forms are reviewed by the mentoring program staff and a connection is made.
- Once a match has been made, your mentee(s) will receive a “Good News” email, notifying them that they’ve been assigned a mentor. This message will include your name/occupation and contact information. Mentors will be sent a copy of this message. However, it is the mentee/student’s responsibility to initiate communication and the first step in building your relationship. You should expect and email within a week of your Good News email.
- Once your mentee has made contact, you should discuss schedule and determine the best days and times to meet.
Learn more by visiting the Highline Public Schools Volunteer webpage.