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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Higher Education, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: MentorNet Mission Statement: - To further the progress of women and others underrepresented in scientific and technical fields through the use of a dynamic, technology-supported mentoring network. - To advance individuals and society, and enhance engineering and related sciences, by promoting a diversified, expanded and talented global workforce.

Results: We have matched and guided over 26,000 mentor-protégé pairs. We have evaluation results that show: • More than 75% of protégés are satisfied with their mentors. • Approximately 70% believe that their mentor was a good match. • More than 65% feel that the MentorNet experience was well worth their time. • Three years after participating, 92% of protégés are still in their STEM field, compared to a national retention rate of about 50% in STEM fields. • About half our proteges pursue employment at their mentor's employer.

Target demographics: MentorNet is a 13 year-old web-based program for mentoring women and minority protégés in university engineering, science, mathematics, and technology programs. We match protégés with mentors and guide and cultivate their extended relationship.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000 to 3,000 matched mentor-protege pairs per year

Programs: MentorNet addresses the severe underrepresentation of various groups, particularly women and people of color, in engineering and science, and has set the standard for high-quality, large scale e-mentoring. MentorNet was founded in 1997 to provide many more opportunities for students who could benefit from the motivating influence of those already out in the working world. MentorNet connects students with working professionals to encourage more of them to stick with their studies and make successful transitions into the workplace. MentorNet has evolved beyond just a one-on-one mentoring program; an online community with features including topic-based online discussion groups, a newsletter, training and coaching materials, a resume database, and more. While mentoring is an effective strategy to retain more students in engineering and related sciences, in the past this type of support has been limited to relatively few students and mentoring professionals because of time constraints, location, and/or lack of programs available. By leveraging electronic communications and new technologies, MentorNet eliminates many of these geographic and time barriers, and offers the opportunity to be mentored, or to mentor, to a far greater number of students and professionals. Furthermore, by serving students from many universities nationwide, MentorNet offers deeper and richer pools of potential mentors for students, and economies of scale in operations. MentorNet includes mentoring programs for students in community colleges, undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities. In addition, MentorNet community members may take part in online, topic-based discussion groups.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have mentored six or so students, most of them older foreign students. Unfortunately, only one was a woman --- and I'm proud to say she's doing wonderfully. Being a oldster (67) I feel my role is to help older students. There's a big difference between just out of undergraduate school and people returning in their 30, 40s and older. The mystifying thing is that the problems I encounter with students is the same regardless of age: they don't understand the academic game. That's the fun part for me --- helping them achieve their dreams.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have mentored several female science and engineering students through this program and have always found it to be a rewarding experience. The student-to-mentor matching is done and the overall program is very well organized. It provides a mentoring experience that I wish I had access to when I was a student.

8

Client Served

Rating: 4

The help I received from all my Mentornet mentors was instrumental in deciding which direction I should take in my career and their support helped me to perservere and finally get there.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to mentor eight students thus far. I like the ability to choose specific ethnicities to support, because I know that helping men and women like me, I can make a real difference because I have a better understanding of the cultural, linguistic, and educational challenges they may be facing. The biweekly mentoring suggestions provide great ideas for discussions and remind me to check in on my protege if I haven't heard from them in awhile. I have learned just as much from my proteges as they have learned from me, and it's great to hear from some of my past proteges to learn how they are doing and to share in their successes.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women are still greatly underrepresented in fields such as physics and engineering. Mentornet provides an invaluable service to women graduate students in these fields by matching them up with experienced mentors. Its not always possible for these students to find professional women in their fields to talk to. Mentornet makes this happen.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have seen results from Mentornet and recieved comments back from young, diverse chemists about the need and access to any kind of mentoring. I highly support Mentornet's mission and expertise and focus on this important topic. We, as an organization, attempted a mentoring portion of our website, but found our resources spread to thin to really perform the connections and service well. Thank goodness for Mentornet. Keep up the good work.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent way for a busy person to help a student. I spent a few minutes a week emailing a student, answering their questions, developing a friendship, etc, and I was able to help somebody.