Mentoring in a Year of Quarantine

Categorized: Mentoring
Mentoring in a Year of Quarantine

Clubhouse members and mentors share their experiences.

January is National Mentoring Month. Our commitment to quality mentoring never waned, even in the face of quarantine, reduced Clubhouse hours, and reduced capacity. Our Clubhouse staff and dedicated mentors adapted and innovated to meaningfully engage their members.

We spoke to staff, mentors, and members across The Network to find out what their experience has been like over the last year.

What Mentors Have to Say

Roland, Mentor and Robotics Coach, The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Family Service Association of San Antonio, San Antonio

“I have mentored for over two years at the Teen Tech Center and I have learned that it’s an immense commitment but it’s extremely rewarding. As a freshman mentor, the reward doesn’t occur overnight; you have to build a solid foundation initially by consistently putting in the effort and the hours; consequently, the winnings are threefold your sophomore year.”

Fabián, Mentor, The Clubhouse @ FARO de Oriente, Mexico City

“Preferiría el término amistad para la experiencia en The Clubhouse de FARO Oriente. Amistad para realizar producciones audiovisuales, programas de radio, experimentaciones con el sonido, a pesar de las condiciones difíciles de lxs participantes–principalmente la falta de acceso a tecnologías digitales que soporten la producción audiovisual. Aún con eso, presentamos obras en festivales nacionales e internacionales, y nos seguimos para monitorear nuestros tránsitos emocionales y de salud. Fue muy bello y afectivo.”

“I prefer the term friendship to describe the experience of mentoring at the FARO Oriente Clubhouse. Friendship to carry out audiovisual productions, radio programs, and experimentation with sound, despite the difficult circumstances faced by participants–mainly the lack of access to digital technologies that support audiovisual production. Despite those circumstances, we presented projects at national and international festivals, and at the same time monitored shifts in emotional and physical health. It was very beautiful and moving.”

Daniel, Mentor, The Clubhouse @ Puerta 18, Buenos Aires

“With the members that participated in the Robotics Team, we adapted quickly since it is a matter of applying existing technologies in use by almost everyone. The problem was, in some cases, the lack of resources such as shared PCs or poor connectivity. Due to the full virtual mode, I had to improve the preparation of the material for the class, in order to organize the content better. And I was amazed by their response. I pushed them, treating them like professionals. I also learned a lot. When you teach, you learn to teach, you learn about what you’re teaching.”

What Members Have to Say

Kayla, Member, The Northwest Activities Center Clubhouse, Detroit

“This year has been really hard to get through and it was filled with a lot of terrible experiences. One positive experience was having Clubhouse mentors visit me and other members in our neighborhood. The mentors dropped off supplies and equipment to my house so that I can record and paint at home. The next day, they set up paint canvases and supplies at our neighborhood park so that we could paint outdoors, it was a really beautiful day at the park and one of the best memories of 2020. They helped me survive quarantine and gave me something to do instead of being bored. Clubhouse mentors helped me get through the worst year of my life, I am looking forward to the Clubhouse reopening.”

Adrian, Member, The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Family Service Association of San Antonio, San Antonio

“One mentor who has impacted me is Mr. Graham. Mr. Graham helped me get better at using Autodesk. I use it for robotics, and using it is challenging and can be stressful. Mr. Graham helped me be more comfortable with using it which helps me be less stressed.”

Joe, Member, The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ Family Service Association of San Antonio, San Antonio

“The mentor who has had the biggest impact on me is our UTSA mentor Vivi. Whenever she is around, I feel like I need to be working . Her work ethic is contagious and she is always willing to help. She is always in a good mood even if school stresses her out sometimes; she never gets a negative attitude. She has always been dependable and I can’t see the Center without her.”

We are inspired by the efforts of our mentors and by the meaningful relationships they’ve forged with our members. Clubhouse Mentors join a community of young people and adults who create, invent, and explore together using the latest in technology.

With Clubhouses operating in-person, online, and hybrid programming, there is always a need for mentors. Find a Clubhouse near you and consider mentoring today.

Additional Reading