What is Community Mentoring?

At College Connect we believe mentoring is an effective way to build meaningful and sustainable relationships with communities.

Who is a College Connect Mentor?

The College Connect mentoring programme is a space of trust. Mentors are students in college who have similar backgrounds and life experience as people from our communities. Mentors help people explore the idea of going to College. Our programme is based on the principle ‘if you can see it, you can be it’.

What are the College Connect Mentoring Aims?

  1. Deliver an enjoyable learning experience for mentees and mentors
  2. Help mentees to believe in themselves and see how they can be part of the College Community
  3. Provide the mentors with an opportunity to develop new skills
  4. Enhance the relationships between the colleges and communities

How does it work?

We have two types of mentoring approaches:

  • Group-based mentoring
  • One-to-one mentoring
Mentoring Maynooth

Mentoring Level 1: Student Placement Workshop

“College: What’s the Story?”

This workshop uses group-based exercises to explore what people think about college. The workshop is delivered by current college students who receive mentor training. They select and invite a local community group or school-group to participate in the workshops.

The student mentors are encouraged to work with the communities they believe would most benefit from hearing their experiences.  For example, a Traveller student mentor working with local Traveller groups.

Following the workshop, the student mentors host an event based on the college campus. Everyone who took part in the workshop is invited to attend. This gives the participants the chance to experience and sample college life and feel comfortable in the college environment.

Mentoring Level 2: Change Makers

This course involves a set of six workshops.

A community group of around 20 mentees work with a group of around 8 college-student mentors. Together they explore topics of Power, Leadership and Change.

The group select topics which are important and relevant to them. Using games and activities they build a picture of their existing knowledge of a topic. They then examine the way in which Power and Leadership can influence their chosen topic and create Change in their communities.

Previous group topics include: Homelessness; Racism; Mental Health and Drugs in the Community.

 “The mentees ability to work in teams and their urge to take initiative during the course shows just how capable they are in taking on the world and creating change”

Taken from the Graduation Speech of a Change Maker College Mentor