Benefits of the Mentor Matrix
- Show youth the range of jobs and career paths in Tech, and dive deeper into the aspects that are most interesting to them.
- Demonstrate that people of color exist in many different roles in different companies. Show that many successful people in Tech come from places similar to our youth.
- Videos give youth a preview of the people and places they are visiting, (Facebook, Adobe, etc.)
- Youth could choose their own mentor(s) based on the videos, empowering them to make a personal choice.
- Many more industry experts can be included in the Hack the Hood family.
- Graduated youth could access the videos after the program ends, to remember, be re-inspired, and to dive more deeply as their knowledge evolves, providing career and professional development growth beyond the 6 weeks of the program.
Mentor Matrix: A Dynamic Video Library
A catalog of interviews with inspiring people of color in Tech (mentors and experts). Here, youth can learn about a variety of jobs or discover potential mentors.
- Videos with inspiring professionals (mainly people of color).
- Videos are searchable by person (with many aspects of their lives) or by professional role (programmer, writer, designer).
- Accessible on a flexible platform for finding and viewing the videos.
- A strategy for connecting youth to potential mentors for in-person, ongoing conversations.
- A curriculum that integrates the videos into daily discussion and learning.
- Delineates clear roles of community volunteers, mentors (local and available) and experts (global and inspiring).
Videos and Activities
Concise video segments:
Activities for interviewees
- Multiple ways of sorting and selecting (by diving into the person, or the professional role)
- Local mentors are tagged and feel accessible
- When possible, youth interview tech leaders (+small business owners) to keep the conversation real. Could youth record and edit videos?
Activities for interviewees
- Show “a day in your life,” including daily inspiration
- Show your company’s culture/workplace, include shots of people at work
- Tell a story about your path to success, what and who helped along the way? A story of how a weakness became a strength for you.
- Skills that you apply at work. Introduce a colleague that you work with and their unique skills.
- Describe your unique perspective on Tech as a paradigm shift.
- Discuss the role of race/ethnicity/gender/diversity in your career path and your current work.
- How do you “hack” survival/resistance in the field of Tech?
- In what ways are communities of color already innovating?
How it might look
- Creation and curation of the videos will only be the first step. This concept will require a strong platform for uploading, tagging, searching and accessing the videos. The platform may need to be built specifically for this purpose.
- Build in time during the program to connect with mentors. If mentor interactions are left to the youth’s schedule, they may get pushed to the back burner and youth might end up learning less about the Tech ecosystem.
- Give feedback to the Mentors about their viewership. Mentors may not feel as satisfied if they cannot see the impact they have on the youth.
- These videos should not replace the current relationships with mentors but there is a risk. Be sure there are clear and direct ways to contact the mentors after viewing.
- The in-person Mentor relationship could become less important if youth rely only on the video. Facilitators should connect youth to mentors and set up a regular schedule of communication (in-person, Skype, Google Hangout).
- On-board mentor to be most impactful for youth. Prompt them with potential activities for their meetings. (Setting Goals, Career Planning, Career Exposure, Inspiration).