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Belén Educa Foundation - Mentoring Program

location_on Chile

Empowering students to pursue Higher Education!

The Belén Educa Foundation yearns for a more just and compassionate country where each person has the possibility to forge their talents, especially children who may not receive many opportunities in life. The program seeks to form links between company executives and students to promote the continuance of their studies.

Shortlisted
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Overview

HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

2008

Established

5.96K

Children/users

2

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
The joining of these two worlds, which benefits the business sector as much as the youth, will allow youth to raise their sights and have higher expectations
Carmen Cisternas Zañartu, Director of Institutional Relations

About the innovation

Creating Spaces for Dialogue and Trust

What we do?

Belén Educa Foundation, in its endless pursuit to offer tools and opportunities towards an integral education for students in situations of poverty, developed a mentoring program.

It rose from the necessity of last-year students needing spaces to have conversations about their life plans. These young students belong to vulnerable sectors and, generally, in their homes, their parents or guardians work all day and have little time for dialogue. 

The students do not have references in their community of anyone who has entered higher education, therefore, we seek to find leaders that can tell them about their professional experience and the paths they have taken in life.

What is asked of the mentor is the following:

  • To promote skills, abilities, and values that the student can strengthen in their personality.
  • To offer tools that allow better performance in academic and work settings while also contributing to one's personal life (e.g. how to establish goals and resolve conflicts).
  • To encourage, ask and create spaces for permanent reflection in the meetings with students.
  • To promote the formation of networks and support between the student and mentor.
  • To guide the student through their choices for higher education and find the funding necessary to achieve that goal.

This program physically takes place at the locations of the companies so that the student can leave their environment. In Chile, the cities are divided by socioeconomic conditions. Therefore, allowing students to experience another social sector by expressing themselves and having conversations, viewing the spaces where they can develop as a professional, it will allow them to expand their views and believe in themselves, getting rid of their fear and the prejudices that exist between both worlds. 

The main objectives are:

  • Offering last-year students from the schools of Belén Educa personal guidance on any concerns they may have about personal matters, school or work, helping them to discover their life plan and incentivizing them to continue their higher education. 
  • Creating a space for two worlds to meet: the world of business and the youth from vulnerable sectors, searching for a space of mutual enrichment. 
  • Forming a link between the students with people who have attained some form of higher education, whether it be technicians or college graduates, considering that the students generally do not know people with higher education.

Why we do it?

Reality shows that living under vulnerable social contexts hinder youth in displaying their full potential. This forms low expectations and frustration that can lead to dropping out of the school system or the impossibility to continue their higher education. 

To confront this issue, that in the long term can mean the perpetuation of poverty, in 2008 Belén Educa Foundation created the Mentoring Program. The program is an opportunity for executives from outstanding companies to act as an individual and monthly guide for students in their last year of high school. Through the six monthly meetings, they seek to promote professional skills and help them outline their life plan, visualizing their future career and continuing their higher education. 

With this guidance, transforming the life of a student is possible and it promotes social mobility in Chile through access to higher education. So far, 84% of the students that have participated in this program have entered institutions of higher education in comparison with the national average of students in Chile which reaches 49.7%. This program devotes itself to fulfilling dreams. Furthermore, it presents a valuable opportunity for executives to contribute to quality education which is the main engine for progress. 

Steps

Contacting Companies

This process is done through the Institutional Relations staff of the Foundation who offer participation to different companies that have a number of executives, has the disposition to improve the life project of a student, that believe in social mobility and carry out the commitment to accompany the student in their decision process and be a reliable listener. 

Program Introduction for Mentors and Students

In order for the students to receive this opportunity, they must apply at school. They are informed that executives from different companies will personally accompany them in their last year of high school, guiding them through the various options for Higher Education that they can have. 

i. They will better understand the world of employment and professionalism.

ii. They will learn the importance of networking.

iii. They will identify what career goals they want to reach.

iv. They will clear up their doubts about Higher Education.

v. They will learn about the experiences of other people.

vi. They will be assisted in making the best decision for their future.

vii. They will acquire tools for a better performance in personal, academic and work situations. 

viii. They will identify important qualities for studying and working.


Initiation Ceremony

In the Inition Ceremony, the mentor and student are introduced. This meeting will present the guidelines for the process. Before the ceremony, the student and executive are matched to achieve the best possible compatibility, allowing them to have topics in common such as profession, hobbies, and interests. 

Six Meetings

A monthly session is coordinated to maintain a framework and to act as a real support in the process the student is living. Each session, held at the company’s location, should be between an hour and an hour and a half.

Final Ceremony

In this ceremony, both student and mentor are given a space to share their most significant experiences from the program and end an important stage in their academic career. 

A quote from one of our past students:

“Today I feel capable of facing anything that may happen in my life and during my time in higher education thanks to the trust and relationship I had with my mentor. The hope and faith my mentor gave me, as well as the motivation to push forward despite my fear, showed me that though frustrations will exist, I can overcome them. The path is not easy, but today I have more trust in myself and confidence.”

- Javier Ahumada, San Alberto Hurtado School. His mentor was Camila Miranda, senior consultant of Matrix.


Final Evaluation

This evaluation is done to ensure a continuous improvement of the program’s processes. It is taken by 4 actors: the mentors, the students, and the program coordinators of the schools and companies. 

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