Mentor Questions & Answers

Who are our mentors and how does the one-to-one mentoring work?

One-to-One mentoring matches a mentor who is a spiritually-centered, called, committed Christian woman who is active in practicing her faith. She may have experienced motherhood as a single mother at some point in her life. She is committed to building trust and connection with her mentee and providing developmental feedback and guidance.

Matches with the mentee are based on:

  • Mentor strengths/experiences with mentee goals/challenges
  • Personality

Mentors will meet with her mentee for a minimum of 1-2 hours a week for one year (or until the mentee leaves The O’Connor House – at which time the mentee and mentor can decide if they want to continue pursuing the relationship). Meetings shall be held in person.

Mentees shall develop two to three personal and career goals they would like to achieve over the course of the one year they are working with a mentor. Those goals, along with the learnings from the Academy program (see below), then become the basis of the mentoring relationship. By focusing on applying the learnings through the Academy and achieving their goals with the support and guidance of a mentor, mentees will develop the self-confidence and skills they need to be successful. Mentors are the mentee’s accountability partners as they work toward their goals.

Mentees will also engage with their mentors in a training and education program (“the Academy”) throughout the year. Training and education, powered by positive mentors, can be the catalyst for transformational thinking and growth.

What type of training will be offered to the mentors and mentees?

The O’Connor House will offer structured training that engages both the mentor and mentee including:

  • Separate orientation sessions for mentors and mentees that will cover the keys to a successful mentoring relationship.
  • The Heritage House Earn While You Learn (“EWYL”) program — Mentees will view approximately 10-14 modules with their mentors. Topics cover prenatal care, parenting skills, life skills, healthy relationships, and more. Homework will be assigned to the mentee and reviewed and discussed with the mentor/mentee at the following meeting.
  • Discovering each other ’s strengths, developing change management and financial literacy skills, and the art of Crucial ConversationsTM.

What is the role of the mentee?

A mentee is a single woman, residing at the O’Connor House, who is either pregnant or has given birth and who is motivated and committed to work toward a more positive life for her and her child(ren). She desires to achieve goals and reports on any progress or obstacles with her mentor.

Mentees must be willing to:

  • Dedicate a minimum of 1-2 hours a week to the mentoring relationship
  • Set 2-3 career and personal goals
  • Complete 10-14 EWYL instructional modules
  • Actively participate in other educational opportunities
  • Receive developmental feedback
  • Consider suggestions and advice
  • Be open to new ideas and change
  • Be respectful to her mentor
  • Take initiative in maintaining a relationship with her mentor
  • Commit to their development and growth personally and professionally

The women of O’Connor House can find power and confidence in sharing their concerns with a mentor who is a guide, role model, coach, a sounding board and supporter. A mentor provides personalized advice and an outside perspective that improves the mentee’s self -awareness and self-esteem. Working with a mentor can help these young women tap into the experiences of mentors for their wisdom, receive emotional support, develop new networks, and think about the future with clarity and vision. A mentor can alleviate isolation through regular, supportive contact with someone who cares about them and their aspirations.

What are the benefits of becoming a T.E.A.M. mentor at The O’Connor House?

By become a T.E.A.M. Mentor, you will receive training in the world renowned Gallup Clifton StrengthsFinder, learn how to hold Crucial ConversationsTM, discover how to help your mentee become more self-aware and what her strengths are; and in the process, you discover your strengths and become more self-aware. This structured and experiential training has the benefit of developing and enhancing one’s career and enhancing and enriching every aspect of one’s life.

There are many other benefits of mentoring as well, including:

  • Making positive contributions to your mentee.
  • Learning and practicing new skills
  • Paying it forward

Mentors will learn new skills through hands-on experience working with these young women as well as experiencing gratification watching their mentees grow and develop. What could be more rewarding and satisfying?

Will I be expected to use personal expenses in mentoring?

There should be minimal expenses incurred. The typical expenses are for commuting to and from The O’Connor House or treating your mentee to a drink or very inexpensive meal. We hope this investment of your time and treasure will be worth the rewarding and satisfying experience you will have with your mentee. If there are other expenses anticipated, we ask that you seek approval from the T.E.A.M. Director prior to incurring the expense. Supported and approved expenses by the T.E.A.M. Director will be reimbursed by the O’Connor House.

How far will I have to travel to meet with my mentee?

The O’Connor House is located in Carmel, IN. You will have the option of meeting your mentee at The O’Connor House or picking her up and enjoying time away in another location conducive to building your relationship.

Do I have to meet with my mentee in person or can I talk over the phone?

The strength of the mentor program is built on the relationship developed between the mentor and mentee. Therefore, we encourage each mentor to meet weekly in person with her mentee to establish a consistent, committed, relationship built on trust. Talking on the phone should serve as a supplemental activity to meeting in person. We also ask that mentors and mentees limit the use of email and texts as the primary form of communication.

What happens to our mentoring relationship if my mentee leaves the O’Connor House before the conclusion of the one year program?

Understandably, some of the young women are able to gain stability more quickly and leave the O’Connor House; this might preclude the mentee from completing the one year T.E.A.M. program. In such cases, we encourage but do not require them to continue the mentoring relationship. In the event your mentoring relationship concludes earlier than anticipated, we will make every effort to reassign you to a new mentee as soon as practical.

What type of ongoing support will I receive to be effective in my role?

We understand how vital the role of the mentor is to the mentee’s long term success. Therefore, we invest in our mentors through one hour bi-weekly support meetings. These are mandatory meetings where mentors share how their relationships are developing and receive needed advice and support from the T.E.A.M. Director and/or other mentors. Additionally, time is set aside for ongoing continuing education. This group time is so important because as we know “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17.

What kind of fun activities will be offered to us in the Mentoring program?

Mentoring can be a rewarding and a fun activity! There will be opportunities offered by the T.E.A.M. program for outings, cultural, and food-related events. Plus, there will be an annual graduation ceremony, and recognition opportunities along the way.