Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting asked Kavita Chandra, Northwestern

PostedWednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:47 PM

What have been your biggest lessons learned from your mentoring experiences?
I love reading of your commitment to outreach. Role models are so important for helping dispel stereotypes about who does engineering and what engineering is all about. They are especially important for kids who are most underrepresented in engineering. How do you get support to do your mentoring with community partners?
1 Answer
  • Kavita Chandra , Northwestern
    Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 2:06 PM
    I have been a mentor for many years with a broad age range of mentees, from young children up to the undergraduate level. Regardless of the age, a mentor-ship relationship is symbiotic. It is important to understand what both the mentee and mentor would like to get out of the mentor-ship, which allows for common goals. To achieve these goals, consistent contact and communication are key for an evolving and fruitful mentor-ship.
    
    For outreach with youths, the relationship develops with a more structured environment, through out-of-school programs or tutoring. Through these programs, there are assigned activities and a clear goal. Gaining support from these community partners is done on an administrative level, but it is crucial to find community partners to actually find students who would like to participate. The programs I participate in would be nothing without the support of the partners such as the Boys and Girls Club and local middle and high schools. 
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