Saturday, November 27, 2010

Becoming a Mentor--A Great Opportunity

CCGS began its Mentoring program in the Spring of 2010 when we saw a need for one-on-one genealogy discussions. The Education Committee had completed a Member Survey which showed a great deal of interest in a variety of topics. The survey also indicated that members had some knowledge which they would be willing to share with other members.

Thus, the Mentoring Program was born, thanks to the initiative of Nancy Daniels. Our core philosophy for this program is Members Helping Members. ALL of us have a knowledge about at least one aspect of genealogy that we have developed over time. Whether it is, for example,  how to stay organized, how to use Census records, or how to do Irish or German, etc. research, we have all had success in some area of Genealogy and have the capacity to help our fellow members in a small group setting.

We have been able to provide between 3 and 4 different Mentoring Sessions each month. As the word got out, this program became very popular and a few sessions had too many attendees to be effective ( a nice problem to have!), and so we have limited the number to attend. All wishing to attend need to contact the Mentor, showing their interest. If the session is already full, you will be on a waiting list, and that will encourage the Mentor to repeat the session.

There are a million different topics that could be great Mentoring topics. You can probably think of 4 or 5 that you would like to see happen right now! Our biggest hurdle is to find members who are willing to take the first step in BEING a Mentor. We need your help. If we are going to continue this program, we need you to step up and offer to be a Mentor. Just try it once, and we know you will be hooked.

Here are some comments from experienced Mentors, when they were asked why they became a Mentor:

• So many people have helped me along my genealogical journey that it felt good to have the chance to give back, & I hope the participants benefited. Also, every sharing is a learning opportunity---Barb

• One-on-one is the ideal way to help someone, I think. And, like Anna in the King and I, by your students you are taught—Joan

• I enjoyed being a mentor very much, as I think I was able to help people to make progress, whether they were beginners or more experienced. I like sharing what I have learned over the years.—Dan

• I definitely like doing this. Reasons: my knowledge gets to be useful to others; I get good feelings from helping others; and it is proving to be a way of keeping current members getting an additional benefit from membership.--Dave

• I am excited and fulfilled when even one aspect of my Mentoring session helps a member. I have seen the Mentoring session turn into 4 or 5 of us helping each other. I learn something with each session held.—Nancy

CCGS provides wonderful educational sessions and great monthly programs, but the Mentoring Program is one of the best features of our Society because it is Members Helping Members! We all love the chance to talk about our genealogy and how it is going or not going. In this small-group format you can do just that, and get some help at the same time.

Now is the time, however, to consider becoming a Mentor. Try it! If you are unsure, you can speak to one of our previous Mentors to get some help. We know you will truly appreciate the help you are giving to your fellow members.

To become a Mentor or ask any questions, contact

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