Mentorship can play a critical role in the ongoing growth and development of food systems leaders. By providing professional guidance and support, serving as a sounding board, or building connections in the food movement, the exchange of ideas and experience with a mentor can influence us on profound levels and stay with us for years. In a time when food systems leaders are being pulled in all different directions, and being asked to go above and beyond, having a trusted thought partner to offer guidance, lend support, and help you find the clarity and direction you need can be incredibly beneficial.
The Community Food Systems Mentorship Program provides food systems leaders with the opportunity to closely engage with proven leaders and experts as thought partners and coaches. The goals of this program are to:
We are honored to have such an incredible group of knowledgeable and experienced food systems leaders with a range of expertise as Community Food Systems Mentors. Explore the 2022 Mentor Cohort below!
Participating in this Mentorship Program was extremely valuable. My mentor was able to coach me on my effectiveness as a leader, strategic planning, engagement planning with high level decision makers, even negotiation. She is somebody with amazing amounts of knowledge and experience and I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to spend time with her through the Mentorship Program.
– Spring 2018 Mentee
What to Expect
The Mentorship Program includes 8 hours of one on one connection between you and a mentor over a 4-month period. It’s designed to give you the flexibility to structure the program in a way that best supports your needs, goals, and work environment.
As a mentee, you’ll receive expert guidance and support in a range of leadership capacities and food systems topics. Examples of topics past mentees have discussed with mentors include:
What past mentees had to say:
I learned a great deal through this Mentorship Program and am so grateful for the support I received from my mentor. I am leaving this experience with actionable strategies for improving myself and my organization, as well as a lasting supportive relationship between myself and my mentor.
Having a trusted mentor who I felt totally comfortable being 100% myself with was incredibly helpful and supportive through an intense period of professional growth. There was never any sense of professional formality keeping us from being real with each other, which is a huge part of why the mentorship was such a beneficial experience. The time I took out of my day to connect with my mentor was always reenergizing and made me feel like, I can do this. It’s hard, and I may not feel very confident or like I have all the right tools and skills right now, but I am growing, and I can keep moving forward.
Spring 2022 Mentorship Timeline
Applications open in January 2022
Mentorship matches are made in February 2022
Mentorship begins March 2022
Mentorship concludes June 2022