National Mentoring Month in Asheville, NC

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January is National Mentoring Month, and we’re feeling called to celebrate it locally – and share tips with you on the fabulous mentors + mentorship opportunities we have right here in the 828

Started in 2002 by MENTOR National and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the month spotlights the national need for mentorship and raises awareness of the positive effects mentorship can have, especially on young people. It also encourages people + organizations to become mentors themselves and support others on their journeys. 

Want to dive into mentorship this year? Here are six local ways to start your own exploration – either as a mentor or a mentee.

Be the mentor

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of WNC 

This year, the org is ramping up recruitment efforts for adult + high school volunteers to be Bigs – a.k.a. older people matched with children in whose lives they can make a difference. Mentorship can be school-based (activities at the child’s school and help with academic assignments), community-based (cooking, hiking + sports), or after-school (assistance with homework, games, and other activities).

Journeymen Asheville

Designed for adolescent males (ages 12-17) as they begin their transition to adulthood, this mentoring program includes regular meetings, service-learning opportunities, outdoor events + “rites of passage” – like their twice-yearly adventure weekends.

The ManKind Project

A unique org + community for men that encourages authenticity, vulnerability + growth, plus using each person’s unique gifts to make the world a better place. Members meet weekly.

Get a mentor

Asheville SCORE

Tailored for entrepreneurial education, SCORE is part of the nationwide Counselors to America’s Small Businesses and offers free coaching, seminars + events, as well as free biz development resources. Want to be a volunteer mentor for SCORE? Apply here.
Mountain BizWorks

Mountain BizWorks provides resources to help people start + build businesses, whether they’re beginning from the ground up or launching a second or third venture. Check out their flagship courses – which focus on the life cycle of businesses “from start-up to scale up” – as well as courses on how to launch crowdfunding campaigns and free legal consultations. You can also sign up for one-on-one business coaching with a local biz owner. 

Venture Asheville Elevate

Committed to growing Asheville’s start-up community, Elevate helps entrepreneurs navigate the day-to-day of everything from building a company to being an effective manager. The program – free to participating entrepreneurs for the first year – includes team mentoring sessions + office hours with specialized mentors. 

Western Women’s Business Center

Designed specifically for female entrepreneurs, the WWBC offers programs to reduce barriers and catalyze success for women in biz. Opportunities include one-on-one coaching, workshops, seminars, networking opportunities + more. Check out their January events (like a free digital marketing workshop) here.

Have an org or mentor you think we should check out? Tell us in the comments.