MentorHub: Reimagining Mentoring in a Virtual World and Beyond

As an organization that builds professionally supported mentoring relationships that typically take place in a face-to-face environment, the pandemic turned our world upside down. When everything needed to move virtually, we knew it was crucial to reimagine what mentoring looks like in this new normal and seek innovative tools to keep kids connected to their mentors.

In search of a way to develop and sustain meaningful, virtual relationships, Dr. Jean Rhodes at the University of Massachusetts Boston approached us to pilot a new application she created called MentorHub.

WHAT IS MENTORHUB?

MentorHub is a supportive accountability app and web dashboard designed to facilitate positive change for young people through evidence-based mentoring. The app integrates with best-in-class third-party applications that provide interventions in mental health, education, and more. Some well-known partners include Headspace, Khan Academy, SuperBetter, and Duolingo.

HOW IT WORKS

With the MentorHub app, a young person takes an assessment and completes a mood ring to indicate the areas in which they’re experiencing challenges. For example, if a youth expresses that they’re feeling anxious, the app guides them to age-appropriate, proven interventions that help them work through coping skills to deal with their anxiety. Mentors get direct access to their mentees’ activities to gain the insight they need to provide the best support.

Through built-in messaging and video chat functionality, mentors and mentees can easily catch up, talk about goals, and work through challenges. Not only can Bigs track their Little’s progress through the app, but the youth’s parent/guardian and agency staff can as well.

"I like the fact that it’s secure. Not everybody has access to it. I also am able to check-in and monitor the activity between my daughter and her big at any time."

Asia, Parent

WHY IT WORKS

The transparency MentorHub provides allows Bigs to better understand how to support their Little and helps open up the right conversations. MentorHub provides a safe space for youth to express their feelings without the fear of being judged, generating more open and honest communication between a Big and a Little.

“MentorHub helped strengthen my relationship with my Big by creating trust between me and her and making it easier for us to talk to each other. It made our communication stronger with each other.”

Little Sister Cadasia

Through their third-party resources, MentorHub helps youth develop new skills to apply in their everyday life.

THE FUTURE OF MENTORING

With as much challenge as the pandemic has brought, it’s also created opportunity. MentorHub is a tool that we can use on the other side of the pandemic. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, we plan to continue integrating MentorHub in existing programs.

“It’s really going to allow us to help support the long-lasting mentoring relationships that we want to see. It’s going to help us keep the Big and the Little connected, it’s going to help us bridge logistical challenges, and helps us add depth to the face-to-face mentoring relationships that we’ve been implementing for more than five decades.”

Melissa Hudson-Gant, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee

We’re working with partners to embed this tool into area schools so MentorHub can be a cohesive component of the overall support we provide to students. To help fund new innovative technology and programs like MentorHub that help us better serve our youth, make a donation today!

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