Mentorship Opportunity

Call for Leadership Academy Mentors

The ANCOR Foundation is currently seeking volunteers to serve as Mentors to members of the 2026 cohort of the Foundation’s Leadership Academy. Information about this opportunity is below, and applications from interested parties are due Friday, March 15, 2024. If you have questions about becoming a Mentor, please email the Academy’s Senior Advisor, Cindy Kauffman.

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About the Leadership Academy

The ANCOR Foundation launched the Leadership Academy in 2017 to nurture emerging leaders who are building their careers in services and supports for people with disabilities. Over the course of two years, the Foundation provides training and mentoring opportunities to support mid-career professionals in cultivating their areas of expertise and thought-leadership to build influence and reputation in the national I/DD community as the next generation of leaders.

About the Mentor Role

Mentors support the professional development of participants in the ANCOR Foundation Leadership Academy through a structure that works for the participant and Mentor. While each Mentor and participant process may evolve differently, each relationship should include regularly scheduled conversations with a standard but flexible process. Additionally, each Mentor makes themselves available to Academy participants, when needed to answer questions and model the behavior of an ideal leader.

The ideal Mentor is a calm, supportive and active listener and guide, committed to enhancing the confidence and growth of leadership for cohort members. Additionally, knowing that it’s important to individuals to see faces in leadership roles that look like their own, we are very interested in recruiting leaders who represent marginalized or underrepresented identities and communities. By volunteering to participate, the Mentor is agreeing to listen to and guide one Academy participant (or, in limited circumstances, as many as two Academy participants) across the course of their participation in the Academy, beginning in April 2024 and lasting through their graduation in April 2026.

The ideal candidate for becoming a Mentor will exhibit:

  • Authentic interest in investing in the growth of others.
  • Great listening skills.
  • Flexibility to adjust and adapt to the Mentee’s needs.
  • Coaching skills that help the Mentee’s problem-solve by helping to identify strengths and opportunities for growth.
  • Patience in helping the Mentee learn through a reflective process.
  • An ability to refrain from being judgmental while offering honest, constructive, and clear feedback.
  • Openness to receiving feedback.
  • A willingness to share your expertise and experiences.
  • Comfort “being real” as a person and as a professional.

Being a Mentor has been both inspirational and rewarding. My mentee is eager to learn and continually steps up to leadership opportunities. This emerging leader gives me such great hope for her future and that of other emerging leaders engaged in the Leadership Academy.

Bonnie-Jean Brooks
Leadership Academy Mentor

Bonnie-Jean Brooks

Time Commitment

The Mentor role is a volunteer role. Although the experience will be deeply fulfilling for the right candidates, there is no formal compensation. For that reason, the professionals managing the Leadership Academy will do their best to offer realistic expectations regarding how much time Mentors will spend mentoring Academy participants. We also commit to being transparent regarding when additional effort may be needed.

  • Selected mentors will be asked, if attending the annual conference, to join us at a special Leadership Academy Welcome Event on Monday, April 8, 2024 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Mentors selected to participate will be required to participate in a 90-minute virtual Mentor Orientation on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
  • Mentors need to create a three-minute video to share with the cohort that shares their approach to the mentorship experience by Friday, May 31, 2024.
  • Mentors should establish at minimum a monthly check-in with their mentee.
  • Mentors will participate in a quarterly 90-minute meeting to share updates, resources, and celebrations.
    • Thursday, August 15, 2024
    • Thursday, November 7, 2024
    • Thursday, February 20, 2024
    • Thursday, August 14, 2025
    • Thursday, November 6, 2025
    • Thursday, February 12, 2026
  • Mentors will be expected to send short updates to the Senior Advisor.
  • Unless the Mentor seeks the opportunity to mentor two Academy participants, each Mentor will be assigned only to one Academy participant.

How to Apply

Individuals interested in becoming Mentors must complete a short application, which enables the ANCOR Foundation to assess your fit with goals of the Leadership Academy and, if selected, match you with an Academy participant who will learn from your mentorship. The deadline for submitting your application is Friday, March 15, 2024.

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To ask questions or receive more information, including regarding how to apply to become a Mentor, please email Cindy Kauffman.