At our January 2013 Winter Retreat, the Young Adult Friends affirmed the desire to create a mentorship program within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. After some seasoning, the YAF Working Group decided to host an intergenerational listening session at PYM Annual Sessions in July 2013. The listening session brought together a balanced group of younger and older Friends. We enjoyed sharing stories of our own experience with mentoring and being mentored. We recognized that a Quaker mentoring relationship could take many forms. The relationship could be focused on deepening our spiritual lives, finding a vocational direction, discerning our spiritual gifts, making new connections, or entering into more intentional relationship with a Friend already in our lives.
As the facilitator, my sense was that Friends had been longing to make connections and learn from each other as we did that day. The feedback from the session was that there was a strong desire for a structured opportunity to make more of these kinds of connections in the form of a mentorship program.
From the listening session emerged an intergenerational group of volunteers interested in further developing a mentorship program. This group met earlier in October and there was much excitement to take action. We decided to begin researching mentorship programs in a variety of organizations with the aim of sifting through them and developing a draft program to present at Annual Sessions in July 2014. Our next meeting is on Sunday December 8th and we hope to have more updates in the Spring.
Co-Clerk of the PYM Young Adult Friends Working Group
If you would like to get involved, e-mail Liz at email@example.com.
Check out the Mentorship Project webpage for more information.
To receive updates about the program as it develops, send an e-mail to Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, YAF Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.