Mentoring program to benefit individuals, base organizations

88th Force Support Squadron’s Workforce Element assists with a pre-COVID educational fair event held Oct. 24, 2019, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The team is now ramping up for the CY21 Mentoring Program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is especially interested in mentors for it. Starting at left are Tammi Dyson and LeAnna Gorman, management analysts; and Sherita Smith, human resources specialist. Contributed photo

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88th Force Support Squadron’s Workforce Element assists with a pre-COVID educational fair event held Oct. 24, 2019, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The team is now ramping up for the CY21 Mentoring Program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is especially interested in mentors for it. Starting at left are Tammi Dyson and LeAnna Gorman, management analysts; and Sherita Smith, human resources specialist. Contributed photo

Enrollment of mentors, mentees open through Nov. 6

Military members and civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have an opportunity for developing new and/or different professional skills and perspectives, demonstrating strengths and exploring potentials.

That opportunity will come through the CY21 Team Wright-Patt Mentoring Program, for which enrollment is now open through Nov. 6, thanks to the 88th Air Base Wing’s Education and Training Section office.

The objective of the inclusive mentoring program is to develop potential in people and create the professionals of the future. While fostering mentoring relationships, program participants will gain experiential knowledge, an understanding about various careers, and be able to make informed decisions about education, training and career-related issues.

By understanding the duty of others, participants will build a well-rounded understanding of their role within the overall Air Force mission.

Both mentors and mentees are encouraged to enroll, said Sherita Smith, human resource specialist, 88th Force Support Squadron, Workforce Development Element.

“The pandemic has made mentorship even more relevant because our junior force and those who are newly assigned to Wright-Patt may be feeling a bit separated from one another,” she said. “The mentoring program can create a connection the mentees need especially during this pandemic.”

“COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to be creative,” said LeAnna Gorman, management analyst, 88 FSS, Workforce Development Element. “We’ve done one virtual checkpoint (an event available to mentors, mentees and everyone on base on a topic relevant to the program) this year and we have another CVR checkpoint scheduled for Nov. 10 where the keynote presentation will be provided by Mr. Gregory Leingang, 88th Air Base Wing vice director. We’ve seen increased numbers in mentors and mentees participating in all of the mentoring events.”

The mentoring program, both formal and informal, is monumentally important to Wright-Patt, Smith pointed out.

“There’s more interest because I believe people understand the need for connection, building relationships and adding to their skills,” she continued.

The mentoring program will begin with a kick-off event in January 2021, featuring a number of guest speakers, including Leingang, and highlighting mentor and mentee successes from the CY20 program. The program will conclude in December 2021.

The Education and Training Section team will provide quarterly checkpoints, regular mentoring tips and tools as well as opportunities for feedback.

Enrollment is open to Wright-Patt military members and civilians of all ranks and grades, whether a mentor, mentee or both.

One “mentoring myth” the Education and Training Section team wants to dispel is that mentors need to be high-level ranks or grades.

“We have a lot of mentees signing up who are GS-3s, GS-5s, Airmen, sergeants 1st lieutenants and more who could benefit from the experiences gained by GS-7′s, GS-9s, Senior Airmen, technical sergeants and 2nd lieutenants,” Gorman said. “We want people of all grades to know they can be a valuable mentor. We need them!”

The Education and Training Section team uses the information provided from enrollment forms to match the best possible mentor with the best possible mentee.

Once enrollment is closed, participants can expect to see an email providing specific mentoring information mid-December.

The Education and Training Section wants to ensure mentors and mentees know they have assistance throughout the year-long program, Smith said.

“They have our complete support, so if anyone is having an issue getting in touch with their mentor or mentee, we can reach out and provide assistance to make that connection easier,” she said.

A mentoring resource that can be utilized in addition to the program may be found at MyVector, an enterprise solution supporting force development and mentoring across the Air Force. It supports individual Airmen, career field managers and development teams. More than 120,000 Airmen have registered in MyVector and more than 15,000 Airmen have created a mentor profile.

The Education and Training Section can also support the mentorship program to geographically separated units.

Enrollment information

· Mentoring period January to December 2021

· Enrollment open now through Nov. 6 at

https://usaf.dps.mil/sites/21288/FSS/FSD/FSDE/MP/SitePages/Home.aspx

· Target audience: Wright-Patt military members and civilians of all ranks and grades are eligible to participate in the program as a mentor, mentee or both.

For more information, email LeAnna Gorman at mailto:leanna.gorman@us.af.mil or Sherita Smith at sherita.smith@us.af.mil.

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