The Blavin Scholars Program matches each Blavin Scholar with a University of Michigan faculty or staff member, who offers additional support and guidance to the Scholar during their time at the University.
Having a mentor on campus is a great way for Blavin Scholars to connect with a supportive adult around a common interest, learn more about how to navigate campus and available resources, and build their support network. Many Blavin Scholars and Blavin Mentors have referenced their experience with the Blavin Mentor Program as one of their most meaningful experiences at U-M and some of our mentor matches maintain contact after the scholar graduates!
Check out this video from one of our current mentors to hear why he chose to become a Blavin mentor!
What Does a Mentor Do?
- Meet with their Scholar at least once per month for connection and support. Blavin Mentor Matches do a variety of activities for Mentor Meet Ups including: meeting up on- or off-campus to chat, engaging in job shadowing and career training, experiencing local cultural events and activities, enjoying a mutual hobby together, or learning something new together!
- Connect with their Scholar by email/text/phone at least once per month
- Attend events throughout the year with their mentee to engage with the Blavin community
- Attend mentor meetings once per semester to connect with Blavin coaches and fellow mentors for support
What Are the Steps to Become a Mentor?
Prospective mentors must:
- Complete a Blavin mentor application
- Attend a half-day Blavin Mentoring training to learn about the following topics: overview of the foster care experience, about the Blavin Scholars Program, the role of a Blavin Mentor. Training attendees gain an understanding of the expectations of the Blavin Mentor Program and the role of a Blavin Mentor as well as some key strategies to being a supportive adult that can be implemented right away in their general work with students.
How Does Matching Work?
Most Scholars are matched in the Fall during our annual Blavin Speed Match Event. However, Scholars can also be matched through "mini-match" meetings set up by the Blavin mentor coordinator or through "natural mentoring," wherein a Scholar identifies an existing U-M faculty or staff connection, who agrees to be trained and matched as a formal Blavin mentor.
In addition, if a Blavin Scholar has a very specific request to have a Blavin Mentor that holds specific identities, qualities, interests, hobbies, careers, or experiences and they do not find a mentor match that meets their needs through one of the above matching options, Blavin Program Staff will search outside of the existing mentor pool to identify a possible U-M faculty or staff member who is a match.
What Happens After a Match?
Once a Blavin Mentor Match is mutually agreed upon by the Blavin Scholar, Blavin Campus Coach, and Blavin Mentor, the Campus Coach will facilitate a Match Meeting to formalize the mentor match. The match meeting is a time for the Blavin Scholar and Blavin Mentor to learn more about one another, establish expectations and boundaries, and plan their first one-on-one Mentor Meet Up.
What Kind of Support do Mentors Receive?
Throughout the mentor match relationship the Blavin Campus Coach continues to support the Blavin Scholar and Blavin Mentor and is available to address any questions or concerns. In addition to the the Mentor Meetings held each semester, Blavin coaches will maintain regular contact with mentors to provide support. Mentors will also receive a Blavin Mentor newsletter once per term with updates and tips for successful mentoring.