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Meet a Mentor

An online platform where students can meet elderly within the same profession and thereby get real-life stories.

Photo of LS Joergensen
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

The cost of not being properly informed and not having the right contacts can be fatal for both students and universities. By starting a mentor program, where we connect old, experienced people with young and aspiring ones, we can create a mutually beneficial relationship. This can indirectly affect the cost by creating a stronger link between what goes on in the classroom and how that relates to a job afterwards. Potentially this can motivate students and decrease drop-out level.

Overall idea:
Create a platform, where mentees can meet mentors. 
A platform, where you simply create a profile stating details about education, career and interests, and then which state and city you live in. Then the platform matches people based on these criteria.

From a mentee perspective:
My name is Will, and I am thinking about becoming a dentist, but I am not really sure about it, and I do not have any network in the dentist society. I create a profile on this platform, where I sign up as a mentee. Here, I state my interest in becoming a dentist and my motivation for that. I also state that I am from New York. 

From a mentor perspective:
My name is William, and after a 40-year long dentist career, I have retired. This is nice, but I do have a lot of time all of a sudden! All that knowledge, experience and good contacts just going to waste. I think to myself "I would like to share my wisdom with someone, who might need it". After googling "mentor", I find this platform, where I make a profile. After a couple of days, I get matched with a young man, named Will.

What then happens is completely up to Will and William, but they would probably never have met, was it not for such a platform. 

Further notions:
It is often low-income students, who do not have the right contacts. 
Having the right contacts is often vital for succeeding an education. 
This is because it strengthens the link between education and job by providing a network that enhances the mentee´s chances for being employed.  

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I can manually contact different institutions, where elderly live, and I can do the same with young people. Then I can make a small convention, where I invite old and young to meet for an afternoon. Afterwards, I will ask each one, if they are interested in participating. If yes, they can ask to become a mentor/mentee to a student/elderly of their own choosing.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

In general, I invite everyone to contribute to this idea since I believe it still needs a lot of work. With that said, I believe the following would be great inputs: - Deploying similar conventions described above in order to see, if there is a demand out there, and to see, whether it can actually work. - Designing an online platform, so this can grow.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

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The US2020 site appears to be back up!

On a separate note:  saw an ad today for HomeHero:  there might be synergies with their work:

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