Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the 100K Mentor Challenge?
The 100K Mentor Challenge is a national movement and coalition of students from across the country partnering with ProMazo to provide 100,000 Mentors to 100,000 students from underrepresented backgrounds during the upcoming academic year.
The entire recruiting process has been upended because of the coronavirus and it has decimated the chance for students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to build the networks that are crucial to securing full time work after college. We wanted to provide those without a network to fall back on with the support that will be necessary to survive this crisis and ensure we don’t have a lost generation just when diversity efforts within higher education have begun to pay off. Our goal is to create immersive mentorship experiences so students can receive the guidance they need before graduation, helping them develop lifelong advocates for their professional careers. We also hope it will be a new way for companies to sponsor people from underrepresented backgrounds to join their firm and recruit the next generation of leaders.
Who are the people behind the 100K Mentor Challenge?
The leaders of the movement are students who are directly impacted by the changes that are happening in recruiting and ProMazo. ProMazo through its student networks was able to help assemble a wide variety of students to lead different parts of the movement. The 100K Mentors Challenge has over 40 students working on the initiative to ensure we reach our goals. Currently, there are four different teams working together to turn our idea into a reality. The App Team is building out the technical platform on iOS and Android, the Algorithm Team focuses on correctly matching students to mentors, the University Team is focused on developing and executing the strategy to register students as mentees on the app and the Corporate Engagement team’s goal is to build a coalition of corporate supporters and register mentors. ProMazo has donated part of the technology to run the mentorship program and because of its work with companies and students in the past is guiding the program as their way of giving back during this crisis.
Can any student sign up to be mentored?
Yes as long as they are an enrolled student at an accredited university or college. To verify their identity, we require students to register with their university emails and sign our pledge that they will be prepared for each session with their mentor. In addition, they confirm that they are from an underrepresented background. Any person who violates the terms of service will be removed.
What does underrepresented mean? What student populations are eligible/ineligible?
The 100K Mentor Challenge is set up like the XPrize, where after achieving certain goals, we establish a new challenge to support a different group of students. The first Challenge we established for this fall focuses on students from underrepresented backgrounds. This group includes women, people of color, LGTQ individuals, veterans, students with disabilities and students who are first generation college students.
Are there certain schools that are participating or is it all driven by the students who opt-in?
We fully expect to have several schools participating. However, the idea was only started in June and we are just about to start reaching out to schools. We also wanted to ensure we had students from a variety of schools so we are in the process of balancing partnering with large public universities who within their university systems could supply 50,000 students each and making sure that students at smaller universities across the country have the opportunity to join the program.
How will I be assigned a mentor?
First download the app (available on iOS & Android). When you register, the app will ask about your background as well as the types of mentors you wish to have. You can select from a variety of backgrounds and professional occupations. Based on shared characteristics like profession, interests, etc., you are then matched with a portfolio of potential mentors. After the match, you can schedule your first meeting with your mentor through the app and work with them over a four month “Season” using the guides and structure the app provides or go off on your own. After every Season, you have the option of switching to a different mentee if you desire and adjusting the types of people you wish to help.
What is the commitment?
As part of your registration, you will be required to take the Mentor Challenge Pledge which outlines your commitment to the program. Our mentors are taking the time out of their schedules to support and guide you and we expect that you will respect their dedication to you. We therefore require all mentees to come prepared for every session, complete the suggested tasks in between sessions and show up on time to your meetings with your mentor.
What does the program cost?
The whole program is completely free because we want to be able to help as many students as possible.