NOTICE 

No person or entities outside of Kapadia Education Foundation has the right to offer scholarships on behalf of Kapadia Education Foundation. Additionally, no one is authorized by Kapadia Education Foundation to charge a fee of any kind, or offer any guarantees of any kind.

 

Sponsorships are offered for free, and application fees of any kind for any purposes are specifically prohibited by Kapadia Education Foundation. 

 

If anyone is asking for a fee to assist you in your application, please decline their request and report it to us at info@kapadiaef.org.

Quick Links

Email: info@kapadiaef.org

Address: Kapadia Education Foundation, P.O. Box 730 Ojai, CA 93024 (USA)

© 2019 Kapadia Education Foundation

Welcome Mentors!

Introduction:

Dear Future Mentor,

 

Thank you so much for your interest to partner with our students to create a dignified and mutually beneficial cross-cultural relationship. We hope that this relationship will serve both you and your student. At Kapadia Education Foundation we strive to support our sponsored students through more than just a scholarship. We have found that our students who are able to build a trusted relationship with a mentor from outside their community are better able to complete their higher education more confidently. Mentors are often transformed by sharing from their own lives and experiences, and learning more about themselves in the process all in the context of building a trusted relationship and becoming a source of support for a college student in another country.

 

We believe that mentoring is a partnership of mutual benefit to both the mentee and yourself, the mentor. While we will do our best to match our mentors with mentees who share professional interests, we have found that our successful mentor-mentee relationships begin with a foundation of trust and friendship. We don’t expect our mentors to have all the answers for our students. Post-secondary education is a stressful and overwhelming time of transition for any student from any culture in any country. Having someone who the students know will encourage them and support them regardless of other stresses they may be facing at school or in their home communities is often times the key to their long-term success. 

 

KEF mentors have gone on to visit their students, planned vacations around traveling to new countries they mentor in and have become donors as well. We hope that this can be the start of a life-changing relationship for you and your mentee. 

 

Please take some time to read the advice from past mentors, expectations, and frequently asked questions below, then complete the form provided to register in our system as a mentor interested in being paired with a student. Once we receive your form we will do our best to send you some options for students who we think you will feel connected to within one to two months! From there you will have the opportunity to select which student you are interested in mentoring and we will introduce the two of you via email. 

 

Thanks in advance for your commitment to mentorship through Kapadia Education Foundation and access to education worldwide! Kapadia Education Foundation staff is available to answer questions you may have throughout the mentoring process. Please email info@kapadief.org with any questions or concerns, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

Warmest wishes, 

The Kapadia Education Foundation Family

Dear Future Mentor,

 

Thank you so much for your interest to partner with our students to create a dignified and mutually beneficial cross-cultural relationship. We hope that this relationship will serve both you and your student. At Kapadia Education Foundation we strive to support our sponsored students through more than just a scholarship. We have found that our students who are able to build a trusted relationship with a mentor from outside their community are better able to complete their higher education more confidently. Mentors are often transformed by sharing from their own lives and experiences, and learning more about themselves in the process all in the context of building a trusted relationship and becoming a source of support for a college student in another country.

 

We believe that mentoring is a partnership of mutual benefit to both the mentee and yourself, the mentor. While we will do our best to match our mentors with mentees who share professional interests, we have found that our successful mentor-mentee relationships begin with a foundation of trust and friendship. We don’t expect our mentors to have all the answers for our students. Post-secondary education is a stressful and overwhelming time of transition for any student from any culture in any country. Having someone who the students know will encourage them and support them regardless of other stresses they may be facing at school or in their home communities is often times the key to their long-term success. 

 

KEF mentors have gone on to visit their students, planned vacations around traveling to new countries they mentor in and have become donors as well. We hope that this can be the start of a life-changing relationship for you and your mentee. 

 

Please take some time to read the advice from past mentors, expectations, and frequently asked questions below, then complete the form provided to register in our system as a mentor interested in being paired with a student. Once we receive your form we will do our best to send you some options for students who we think you will feel connected to within one to two months! From there you will have the opportunity to select which student you are interested in mentoring and we will introduce the two of you via email. 

 

Thanks in advance for your commitment to mentorship through Kapadia Education Foundation and access to education worldwide! Kapadia Education Foundation staff is available to answer questions you may have throughout the mentoring process. Please email info@kapadief.org with any questions or concerns, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

Warmest wishes, 

The Kapadia Education Foundation Family

Dear Future Mentor,

 

Thank you so much for your interest to partner with our students to create a dignified and mutually beneficial cross-cultural relationship. We hope that this relationship will serve both you and your student. At Kapadia Education Foundation we strive to support our sponsored students through more than just a scholarship. We have found that our students who are able to build a trusted relationship with a mentor from outside their community are better able to complete their higher education more confidently. Mentors are often transformed by sharing from their own lives and experiences, and learning more about themselves in the process all in the context of building a trusted relationship and becoming a source of support for a college student in another country.

 

We believe that mentoring is a partnership of mutual benefit to both the mentee and yourself, the mentor. While we will do our best to match our mentors with mentees who share professional interests, we have found that our successful mentor-mentee relationships begin with a foundation of trust and friendship. We don’t expect our mentors to have all the answers for our students. Post-secondary education is a stressful and overwhelming time of transition for any student from any culture in any country. Having someone who the students know will encourage them and support them regardless of other stresses they may be facing at school or in their home communities is often times the key to their long-term success. 

 

KEF mentors have gone on to visit their students, planned vacations around traveling to new countries they mentor in and have become donors as well. We hope that this can be the start of a life-changing relationship for you and your mentee. 

 

Please take some time to read the advice from past mentors, expectations, and frequently asked questions below, then complete the form provided to register in our system as a mentor interested in being paired with a student. Once we receive your form we will do our best to send you some options for students who we think you will feel connected to within one to two months! From there you will have the opportunity to select which student you are interested in mentoring and we will introduce the two of you via email. 

 

Thanks in advance for your commitment to mentorship through Kapadia Education Foundation and access to education worldwide! Kapadia Education Foundation staff is available to answer questions you may have throughout the mentoring process. Please email info@kapadief.org with any questions or concerns, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

Warmest wishes, 

The Kapadia Education Foundation Family

Quotes from Past Mentors:

“I like the respectful approach of supporting people in their own culture and country. And I liked the chance to be in relationship with the person doing the hard work. The relationship part is unusual for a nonprofit.”

 

--Ricka has mentored a half-dozen East African students, staying in touch with them via email.

Advice from Past Mentors:

Our students come from 20+ countries around the world-- everyone has different ways of communicating and being in relation with others. Here is some advice from past mentors and from the foundation: 

 

  • Your student lives in a developing nation and may have difficulties communicating for various reasons (i.e. a sickness, lack of access to a computer or the internet, riots going on at their school, an injury, etc.). Please be generous with each other in thought and attitude! Your life or your student’s life may be complex--Having trouble understanding something in your student’s life? Ask! 

  • Your student can gain insight on their career path via a relationship with you. You can help guide your mentee to figure out what career path might be best for them simply by sharing stories from your career, successes, and especially failures. 

  • It can be hard not to take a long silence from your student personally. We have come to learn that some mentees can pick up on their mentor’s frustration if the mentors don’t hear back from the student for a while. We have also come to learn that silence should never be taken personally. Each time mentors have temporarily lost touch with mentees of theirs, the students have turned out to have had extraneous difficulties in their lives or have felt very self-conscious and unsure about how to communicate with their mentors again. Students feel unsure of how to communicate with you as you are their senior-- feel free to take the lead in this relationship. 

  • Include that there is an expectation to hear from them every month and students must do their part in keeping up with that to remain eligible for re-sponsorship in future years to help them complete their program.

  • All of our lives have been profoundly shaped by our own educational experiences and being part of this world-wide network of emerging leaders is a meaningful way to promote growth and education worldwide.

Advice from KEF Staff:
  • Often times students can feel intimidated to initiate conversations and it will take some time for the mentee to understand what topics are appropriate or not to discuss with you, their mentor. Mentors in the past have found success by taking a bit of initiative earlier in the relationship to ask about their mentees life, and sharing from their own lived experience as a student and young professional to ease into a relationship of more mutual sharing. 

  • Taking 5 minutes to list out preconceptions or expectations we may have for this relationship. Whether or not they are right is not as important as simply being aware of what projections or expectations we may have about who our mentee may be or not be.

Conversation Starters:

Consider starting with their studies. 

  • What courses are you taking? 

  • What’s your favorite course? 

  • What do you like about your program? 

  • How did you choose your program and your courses?

  • Have you struggled through any parts of your education? If so, what parts and why do you think? Have you learned from this struggle? Does this struggle still persist? 

  • Here are some courses that were helpful for me. 

Paying It Forward​

  • All students sponsored by KEF have committed to giving back to their community in one way or another during their studies and/or upon graduation. Their plans to “pay it forward” of course can evolve throughout their studies. :

    • Feel free to ask your student at the beginning of mentorship how they plan to ‘pay it forward’ or give back to their community.

    • Consider checking in with how these plans may shift as the student gains more insight in their field during the process of their education.

Continue with an inquiry about their career after graduation.​

  • Who is someone in your community whose career you admire and why?

    • Encourage your mentee to set up an informational interview with them. 

  • Where will you be looking for jobs, or are you planning on starting your own organization or business practice? 

  • What jobs have other graduates from your program secured? 

  • Have they done any informational interviews to assess the ways in which they could serve best once in the field? 

  • Empathize with the student and tell them about what it was like for you when you were going through that same period of life.

Ask about the student's life. ​

  • Where do you live? Do you live on campus or with your family? Who is in your family? Do you want to share photos of your family, friends, home town or university? 

  • What’s your favorite food? Do you cook? Are there any recipes you’d like to share with me? 

  • What hobbies do you enjoy? What do you like to do for fun? 

Tell the student about your life.​

  • What do you like to do for fun? How do you spend your time?

  • How did you get to the place that you are now in your career? Do you remember any valuable advice that was helpful to you? 

  • Tell them about your favorite food 

  • Share about your family

  • Share some stories from your early career

  • What can you share about your values or the way you live your life?

Mentor/Donor Randy visiting his mentee Beatrice Baize and her family in Uganda.

FAQs: 

Q: My mentee was very much in touch and then they fell off the face of the earth. 

 

A: It’s impossible to predict when KEF student’s connectivity or personal situation at that time might be like. Please be generous with your students as we never know what they’re going through. Here are some examples of why students have fallen out of touch in the past: 

  • Fallen ill with Malaria

  • Were busy with final exams

  • Struggling to replace a stolen phone

  • Experiencing a family emergency or other issue in their community

  • Traveling to a rural area to visit family

  • Feeling shame around a change in their life which they were not ready to disclose when they reconnected with their mentor

  • Feeling self-conscious about their English language abilities 

 

We can never know in this situation what might be happening in their lives. Inquire with them and be open to accepting any answer they provide. Rebuilding a relationship with a mentee after some time is easy as long as they feel that they can return to the relationship without having to explain themselves in any way they are not comfortable with. 


 

Q: What do I do if my mentee doesn’t contact me enough? (at least once a month)

 

A: Mentoring relationships are intended to be mutually engaging. If you feel that your mentee is not meeting you halfway to maintain a relationship together, please do let KEF staff know so we can reach out to your mentee and see what may be going on. Falling out of touch with their mentor and the foundation is grounds for dismissal from our scholarship program. The expectation is that you two are in touch at least once a month. 

 

Q: What do I do if my mentee contacts me too much? 

 

A: Sometimes mentees are so eager to connect and build a friendship with their mentor that mentors can feel overwhelmed by the messages. It is a good idea to begin the relationship over email to see how your mentee communicates with you before sharing facebook or WhatsApp information. If you feel your mentee is expecting more communication than you are available for, feel free to take your time responding to set the norm yourself of how often you would like to communicate. 

 

Do not hesitate to directly set an expectation with your mentee if need be. Some good language is “I appreciate how quickly we feel comfortable communicating together and I’m happy to be a person supporting your education and other life goals. At this time in my life, I’m available for _____ forms/frequency of communication. I look forward to hearing from you again later this month/week!” It’s impossible to know how your mentee may react to this message, so if you do not hear from them after the time you indicated, feel free to be the first one to message them to reinforce that you are still interested in building a relationship and being a mentor to them. 


 

Q: My mentees answers to my questions tend to be very short, I feel like our conversations are forced. I’m not sure if I’m being any help to them. Is this ok? 

 

A: Students may not be familiar with being asked such questions of self-reflection, or they may not have experienced a relationship with someone who is so committed to listening to them and indulging their reflective thoughts. If you are speaking to them over the phone or Skype, feel free to leave longer pauses after one of these short answers and allow your mentee to refill the conversational space. With time your mentee will likely become more comfortable sharing more after experiencing you as a non-judgemental and supportive listener to their thoughts and reflections.  


 

Q: My mentee communicates very difficult life circumstances nearly every time we talk, what do I do? 

 

A: KEF students are from as varied backgrounds as the world is wide, and often times they find comfort in communicating their struggles to another person who may feel sympathy for their struggles. It can be difficult to navigate these conversations especially if the student is asking, or strongly implying, that they need more than what the KEF mentoring role outlines. Always feel free to direct your mentee back to the foundation staff regarding the request for more support so your relationship can remain one of encouragement without the added complex layer of finances. 

 

Please do not underestimate the stress and toll it may be taking on you to hear about the struggles your mentee is facing. It is important to remember that they may not be asking you to solve any of their difficulties, but they may just be needing an empathic ear to listen to them and validate that what they are going through is in fact very difficult. Simply being there to listen and encourage them is enormously helpful as they may not feel open to sharing with others who are much closer to them in their immediate communities--your relationship with them is unique since you are separate from any other part of their life and you have no interest but seeing them succeed.