SAOS Mentoring Program
The mentoring program works in tandem with our Keiki Club, pairing our novice and/or new SAOS orchid growers with an experienced grower. This program allows our mentees to get one-on-one assistance and answers to their orchid growing questions, while getting to know each other better. Our ultimate goal is for all of us to learn from each other and become better orchid growers as a result, having lots of fun along the way.
- How It Works. Mentors complete a mentoring request form, available at the Welcome Table at our monthly meetings, or via e-mail by contacting Mentoring Coordinator Susan Smith.
A mentee will be matched with a mentor, preferably one that lives in the mentee's general area. The mentor will then contact the mentee, and the two arrange to meet. Meetings can take place at regularly scheduled events like the Keiki Club or Monthly Members Meetings, or if both parties wish, it can be at each other's homes. The mentoring process is designed to last through the membership year, however, the relationship can continue as an ongoing source of networking and support.
- Mentors. Potential mentors may volunteer by filling out the mentor section of a mentoring request form, or the coordinator may request assistance as needed from good growers. Only basic skills and the enjoyment of orchids are generally requirements to be a mentor. Topics covered may include sun exposure, watering, fertilizing, pest control, etc. If needs beyond the mentor's level of expertise, the coordinator will assist in finding another experienced grower to help fill in those gaps.
- Mentees. New growers and/or other SAOS members who wish to become mentees, must be members of SAOS in good standing. Participation in Keiki Club meetings is suggested.
- Coordinator. The Mentoring Coordinator, Susan Smith, plays a key role in promoting the mentorship program. Responsibilities include matching mentees with their mentors, as well as following up to ensure that the mentor/mentee relationship is working out well for both parties.
Within a week of receiving a mentorship request, the Coordinator will contact the mentee, either via telephone or e-mail, to discuss the mentee's knowledge level and location. The Coordinator will then assign a mentor, and when possible, personally introduce the mentor and the mentee at a Keiki Club meeting or regular monthly meeting.
Approximately one month later, the Coordinator will contact the mentee to see how the program is working for them. This may be via e-mail, or just a friendly call to encourage continued involvement as well as field any additional questions and/or problems that may arise.
The Coordinator is responsible for keeping records of individual involvement, and making information available for recognition of those who participate in the program. The Coordinator may also be asked to make announcements at our regular monthly meetings.