Mentoring with Big Idea Project
The Big Idea Project is a co-curricular program for High School Students that uses experience and curriculum to facilitate:
- Student transformation
- Social-emotional growth
- Workforce readiness
- Leadership development
We utilize the expertise of mentors as one of the many ‘tools’ in the student’s learning process.
How the project works
A Big Idea
Teams of 3-4 identify a social problem they care about and come up with a way to help solve it
Together with a business mentor, teams create a plan for taking action
Students have the semester to work their plan and make their Big Idea come to life
At the end of the semester, teams create a storytelling video and present their results
Winning teams have the chance to win a college scholarship!
The role of a mentor
A mentor works with one team (or 3-4 students) over the course of one semester (3.5 months).
- Be an advisor and coach. You do not drive the relationship and must not do the work for students. Instead, help them learn to think and see differently.
- Be a resource. If students need connections to people or organizations and they’ve proven to you to be trustworthy to follow through, then connect them.
- Teach them what’s expected in professional settings. Give them a taste of work outside of high school. Give them tips and maybe even offer ‘tough love’ when they need a push.
What makes a good mentor?
- Experience leading teams—working with youth helps but is not required
- Positivity, encouragement and perspective in the good and hard times
- A commitment to regular communication with students and to making all in-person meetings
Mentoring benefits you too!
Our community of mentors is a highly engaged group of seasoned leaders who care about providing real world learning to students.
As a mentor you will:
- Build relationships with other mentors at BIP events
- See firsthand what issues students face in our schools
- Refine your coaching and leadership skills
- Learn about the needs of our emerging workforce
How are mentors selected?
Mentoring is a vital aspect of the Big Idea Project experience! Our mentors provide student teams with valuable coaching, insight, and support. Big Idea Project strives to recruit mentors who have strong leadership experience, impeccable character, and who embody Generous Leadership®.
All mentors are recruited and approved by Big Idea Project staff. All mentors must pass a background check (Sterling Volunteers Level 3 Verification). All mentors are required to sign a Mentor Agreement – outlining all program conduct expectations.
How can I become a mentor?
How long does each mentorship last?
Mentors work with students for one semester (about 3.5 months). When you sign up to mentor, you commit to attending six in-class sessions at the school (one hour each), attending your team’s presentation event at the end of the project, communicating weekly with your team using BIP’s online project platform, and participating in the mentor orientation and training (online sessions available).
What is the role of a BIP mentor?
Big Idea Project mentors provide perspective, advice and connections to teams. Often, the best help a mentor can give is real-world advice and perspective that comes from well-crafted questions.
When you sign up to mentor, you commit to attending six in-class sessions at the school (one hour each), attending your team’s presentation event at the end of the project, communicating weekly with your team using BIP’s online project platform, and participating in the mentor orientation and training (online sessions available).
What will I teach as a mentor?
Above all, it’s about teaching empathy. Big Idea Project mentors practice Generous Leadership® and know it is the key to building future leaders of impact. As a mentor you have an opportunity to guide students in an experience that not only helps them grow in skill but helps lead to a paradigm shift characterized by empathy.