Most communities have powerful, but untapped, career assets. There is a growing mentoring movement. Harraseeket has developed Pathways to support an underused part of it: communities with the career experience and wisdom to offer the chance for young members to make more informed career choices. Harraseeket believes that community organizations are ideal for career exploration programs. The comfort, support and safety of a community fosters quality career mentoring and growth.
Communities have a responsibility to help their younger members (who we call seekers). A core mission of community organizations is usually the care and nurture of their younger members. Younger members are often unaware of, or are reluctant to take advantage of, the career experience and wisdom of older members. Pathways is designed to change that.
Pathways makes it easy for a community organization to use our content and experience to offer a program of its own. We provide templates and precedents, manuals on establishing a mentoring database, and guidance on setting up a Pathways website or webpage.
A Pathways community can be any organization that has a mission to support its young members. When members live near each other, mentors and seekers can easily interact in person.
An ideal Pathways community has a designated project leader and a core group of committed volunteers. This group will work with The Harraseeket Foundation and form a community advisory board to guide Pathways design issues. The core volunteers adapt Harraseeket content and apply Harraseeket knowledge and learning to create an energetic sustainable program tailored to their community.
We have been running a Pathways program at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, McLean, VA, since the fall of 2017. Immanuel has a strong mentoring history, having conducted two “Dreamers” programs, in which members mentored students in a low-income area of Washington, DC, and later paid their college tuition.
A Pathways pilot mentoring conversation program started with 24 and has grown to 62 participants. Some seekers have had two-three conversations so far. Eleven members of Immanuel are actively working on different aspects of the Pathways program. A 13-member advisory board, consisting mostly of young adults, is providing advice to those working on Pathways.