The main objective of this program is to build meaningful, supportive, and sustainable relationships within the Fellows community. Ultimately, it assists in the pursuit of personal improvement as Fellows seek to improve the state of Alabama.

Request a Match as a Mentee

For the current cycle (August 2019 to April 2021), Blackburn Fellows are able to request a mentor through June 30, 2019. Before you request a match, please first read the program commitments, eligibility tiers, and timeline below.

If you are interested in joining the program, please complete the Match Request Form. Included in this form are the mentor profiles from which you can select up to five potential matches, one of which will be named as your mentor. If you have any questions about this mentorship program, please contact our Coordinator of Alumni Programs, Kathryn Drago, by email or phone (205-348-2536).

Mentorship Commitments

A more formalized option than the Soft Landings Program, the Fellows Mentorship Program requires a deeper commitment of both the mentor and mentee:

  • Mentor and mentee commit to a two-year (1.5-year in current cycle) relationship;
  • Mentor and mentee commit to spend two hours together (e.g. four 30-minute phone calls, two 1-hour meetings, or any other combination of time and method) every three months, for an 8-hour annual commitment;
    • It is recommended that at least one in-person meeting per year occur each year, with the Annual Symposium and the Spring Networking Dinner as ideal options.
  • Mentor and mentee commit to building and deepening their relationship with each other over their
    course of the program;
  • Mentee assumes responsibility for initiating and maintaining the relationship by scheduling meetings or calls with mentor;
  • Mentor agrees to be responsive in a timely manner to mentee requests; and
  • Mentor and mentee commit to completing regularly brief (3- to 4-question) assessments that will serve to provide feedback on both the effectiveness of the overall program and the mentor-mentee match, as well as serve as a point of intervention if relationships encounter challenges.

Mentorship Tiers

Mentors and mentees would be paired based on the following tiers:

  • Senior Professionals (30+ years as a Fellow) paired with Experienced Professionals (21-30 years as a Fellow) (not currently applicable)
  • Experienced Professionals (20-30 years as a Fellow) paired with Mid-Career Professionals (11-20 as a professional)
  • Mid-Career Professionals (10-20 years as a Fellow) paired with Early-Career Professionals (1-10 years as a Fellow)

This format will be slightly modified in for the 2019 pilot year, with mentees able to select from any tier of prospective mentors.

Program Timeline

In our 2019 pilot year, the matching process will entail the following steps:

  • May – Those Fellows having fully completed a data update with the Institute and indicating they are interested in serving as a mentor will be added to a list from which potential mentees may request a match.
  • June – Potential mentees will complete a Match Request Form, indicating the Fellows with whom they wish to be matched. Mentor profiles – including name, headshot, LinkedIn profile, position and employer, location, biography, and civic involvement– divided into tiers, will be included in the Match Request Form.
  • July – The Fellows Involvement Network (FIN) officers will review requests and determine appropriate matches.
  • July – The FIN officers will reach out to each mentor to confirm their continued interest in being matched with a mentee.
  • July – Notification of a match will be sent to both the mentor and mentee by FIN officers, along with suggested guidelines for establishing a positive and supportive relationship.
  • August – Mentors and mentees will be encouraged to meet for the first time at or before the Annual Symposium, which occurs in August 23-24, 2019.

Starting in 2020, the matching process will entail the following steps:

  • January – Those Fellows having fully completed a data update with the Institute and indicating they are interested in serving as a mentor will be added to a list from which potential mentees may request a match.
  • February – Mentor profiles – including name, headshot, LinkedIn profile, position and employer, location, biography, and civic involvement –  divided into tiers, will be available in the Match Request Form for review by potential mentees.
  • February – Potential mentees will complete a Match Request Form, indicating a maximum of 5 Fellows with whom they wish to be matched and the rationale for requesting these specific matches.
  • March – The Fellows Involvement Network (FIN) officers will review requests and determine appropriate matches.
  • March – The Fellows Involvement Network (FIN) officers will reach out to each mentor to confirm their continued interest in being matched with a mentee.
  • March – Notification of a match will be sent to both the mentor and mentee by the Internal Vice-Chairperson of the Fellows Involvement Network (FIN), along with suggested guidelines for establishing a positive and supportive relationship.
  • April – Mentors and mentees will be encouraged to meet for the first time at or before the Spring Networking Dinner, which occurs in April of each year.