Connecting a high school student with a trusted mentor can be a key stepping stone toward a successful career. That’s especially true for women and people of color, who can be underrepresented in certain professions (including linework.)

To help combat this problem at the local level, AEP Ohio is giving $15,000 to the Lima Area Chamber Foundation for its Transform Career Mentoring Program, which will aim to build stronger, more long-lasting relationships between a student and his or her mentee.

The program is in the development stage. AEP Ohio’s donation will help fund the coordination and logistics management provided by Transform Consulting, which will facilitate the program.

How it works

  • Tenth-grade girls and students of color at Lima Senior High will be paired with vetted career mentors from local employers in their preferred tech career path, focusing on Information Technology, manufacturing or healthcare.
  • Mentors and their mentees will stay partnered for three years through the student’s graduation, connecting weekly to discuss desired career paths, available options, tackling obstacles and how to make important career decisions.
  • Activity logs will be periodically monitored by the high school and a Transform program manager.
  • During the student’s junior year, he or she will be presented with opportunities to interview with local employers for a summer internship related to their field of interest.

“The keys to building a trusting relationship, more than anything else, are regularity, dependability and consistency,” says Doug Arthur, program director at Transform Consulting. “Research confirms that consistent contact can make a significant difference in the trust student feels. Mentoring is an undeniably effective strategy for changing the way the student views his or her future.”

Published August 24, 2021

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