Mentorship Opportunity

Call for Leadership Academy Mentors

The ANCOR Foundation is currently seeking volunteers to serve as Mentors to members of the 2025 cohort of the Foundation’s Leadership Academy. Information about this opportunity is below, and applications from interested parties are due Wednesday, May 24, 2023. 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 or around mid-June 2023 and lasting through their graduation in April 2025.

The ideal candidate for becoming a Mentor will exhibit:

  • Confidence in your own values and beliefs about what is needed for the leaders of tomorrow.
  • True interest in investing in the growth of others using your knowledge and experience.
  • Great listening skills, with the ability to be flexible and change direction as the learner needs it.
  • The use of true mentoring and coaching skills that help Participants see and analyze their own situations and with the Mentor’s support, help each participant plan and implement the solutions and actions needed to be resolved.
  • An ability to refrain from being judgmental, while still offering honest, constructive and clear feedback.
  • A willingness to share your own expertise and experiences.
  • Comfort “being real,” both as a person and as a professional.
  • Patience in guiding learner(s) through questions and reflections (e.g., avoid lecturing learner(s) in areas where there is room for growth).
  • Openness to receiving feedback.
  • The ability to be available to your mentee, engaging them in rich, facilitated conversation that showcases their strengths, acknowledges their room for growth, raises questions that support the mentee’s growth as a leader, analyzes interactions, and provides encouragement and/or constructive feedback.

Time Commitment

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

Generally, Mentors can expect to spend 2-3 hours per participant, per month over the course of 22 months. (Unless the Mentor seeks out the opportunity to mentor two Academy participants, each Mentor will be assigned only to one Academy participant.) Additionally, all Mentors selected to participate will be required to participate in a one-hour virtual Mentor Orientation.

How to Apply

Individuals interested in becoming Mentors must complete a short application, which enables the ANCOR Foundation to assess your fitness for the role and, if selected, match you with an Academy participant who will learn from your mentorship. The deadline for submitting your application is May 24, 2023.

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