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Talking points for introduction calls to new mentors

Below are talking points for an introductory call to a mentor in a new match. If you are looking for talking points for an introductory phone call with a mentor in a continuing match, see the Talking points for introduction calls with returning mentors. To prepare for mentor intro calls, see the Mentor intro call scenarios article. Note: These are used in our iMentor NYC program and so some information may not be relevant to your program. 

Tips from a PM

There is so much information to cover in intro calls that it's easy to make this a mostly one-sided call as you power through your talking points while the mentor listens. To keep the mentor listening actively rather than passively, try coming up with subtle "comprehension checks" to keep mentors engaged. As with comprehension checks in the classroom, make sure these are not simply yes/no questions.

On the other hand, since you do have a lot of information to cover, make sure your comprehension checks are also not open-ended questions that may lead to the mentor taking up more time than you're able to allow in order to cover the rest of your talking points. An ideal comprehension check will feel like a natural, conversational question to get an idea of the mentor's perspective, reaction, feedback, etc. This also gives you a better pulse check of where this mentor feels confident and where they might need more of your support.

Examples of comprehension checks that are specific (not open-ended) but require thoughtful responses (not quick yes/no questions):

  • Of the information we've just covered, what do you think you might need the most support on? And in which area do you feel the most confident?
  • What worked best for you and your mentee last year on this topic? Where is the room for improvement?
  • What are the potential challenges you foresee for yourself or your mentee on this topic?
  • What would a reasonable timeframe be for you to have a chance to respond? (survey, Canvas lesson, etc)
  • What types of resources, support or involvement from me would be helpful on this topic?

Talking Points 


The goal of the introduction is to build a rapport with the mentor. For program coordinators to support and facilitate relationships between pairs, we first need to have a relationship with both mentors and mentees. This is the opportunity for you to set the foundation and begin to build a relationship with your mentors.

Outline the call

  • Hi this is __________ from iMentor. Do you have some time for our Intro call? The call should be about 15-20 minutes.
  • In this call we’ll start by doing some general introductions, go over the big picture of our program, discuss goals and expectations and then talk about next steps.

Introduce yourself to the mentor

  • My name is __________ and I am your Program Coordinator.
  • I have been living in _______ for ________ (length of time).
  • Add any additional facts you’d like to share (college you attended, why you decided to work at iMentor, other professional anecdotes)

Get to know the mentor

  • Why did you decide to volunteer with iMentor?
  • If mentor is a returning mentor to a new match, ask about their last match.
  • How long have you been living in ______________?
  • What’s your preferred method of communication?
  • Confirm that information on file is accurate (including workplace, email address and phone numbers)

Share context for mentee and school

  • Initial information on mentee, the grade, etc.
  • General background on the school

PC Tip: Don’t let this section get away from you and run too long. There’s still a lot to cover.


The goal of discussing the big picture is to set the framework for the way that mentors approach and look at their role, and the program. This is a space to share iMentor’s vision for success, including the importance of the curriculum and how the PC, mentor, and mentee all fit into this big picture.

Our goal is college success

  • As discussed in mentor training, as a mentor you are uniquely situated to provide one on one support to __________ (mentee name) and help him/her develop the skills needed in order to be successful in college.
  • Having been to and graduated from college, you have excellent first hand experience and can provide support and college knowledge.
  • You also are crucial in providing support in developing the soft skills needed to be successful in college and in life.
  • For example: find resources, persistence: knowing how to fail and then trying again and again, understanding others perspectives, meeting new people, know how to balance social life with academic responsibilities

Mentoring is powerful!

  • Research shows that when done right, mentoring can have an incredibly powerful impact. However, the reverse of this, is that mentoring can be equally detrimental when care isn’t taken in the relationship.

Mentoring is hard!

  • There will be challenges
  • It takes patience and hard work to build a relationship
  • Outline support available: Program Coordinator, Mentor Huddles, Curriculum

Discuss your role as the Program Coordinator

  • Partnership
  • Working together to support your mentee
  • In the classroom once a week
  • Informed college resource

Curriculum is a very important tool to support your relationship and the goal of college success.

  • Emails and Events (participation) deliver curriculum and are a means for you to create a meaningful relationship, which then translates into the trust and candor needed to support your mentee through difficult conversations about college and the future.
  • Checklist goals act as a roadmap to college access and success: 
    • Timely conversations
    • Explain grade appropriate check list goals

PC Tip: Mentor training could have happened months ago, so the refresher on the focus is good. Plus, mentors who understand how the big picture connects to their individual matches will be more motivated to do the things they need to be successful. Since most of our matches are 3-4 years long, it’s good for mentors to be realistic about the fact that they’ll face challenges at some point, but they have the support and resources to get through it. 


This is a time to lay out what our specific goals are as related to our big picture vision. It is important to have this be a conversation. If the mentor is slow to come up with goals (many will be, because they will be caught off guard), draw the mentor out, and support their critical thinking of their goals for the relationship, for their mentee and some obstacles that may be present.

Our goals

  • As mentioned, our goal is college success. [As getting post secondary education is the greatest indicator of a higher quality of life—from earning potential to health, to happiness, each of these are significantly higher among those who earn a college degree.] The way we get there is:
    • Strong relationship
    • Utilizing the curriculum through weekly email and monthly events

Mentor’s goals

  • What goals do you have for your relationship with your mentee this year?
  • What do you think might be some roadblocks or obstacles to achieving this?


This is where you are clearly delineating roles for you and your mentors that will set up the relationships for the rest of the year. This is an opportunity for mentors to find the right motivation and set up good habits going into their match.

Keeping all our goals in mind for your relationship with your mentee, and for your mentee, what I am expecting from you is:


  • Read the Weekly Email Update: This is the best way for me to communicate updates and requests for the program, related to the curriculum, events, everything related to your mentee, etc.!
  • Timely responses
  • Reaching out to me when you have any questions/concerns

Like we’ve discussed, mentoring is hard work!

  • Be Patient, consistent, always present, reliable!
  • You are driving the relationship! Ultimately, your mentee’s experience in this program over the course of your match is determined on your participation and consistency


  • Weekly Emails
    • Respond to your mentee and address the prompt within 48 hours of receiving the email. This encourages more frequent communication between you and your mentee and sets good habits for emailing throughout the year.
    • The class is on ________________ (class day and time)
    • Send an email even if your mentee isn’t able to write!
  • Monthly Events
    • Prioritize these events
    • RSVP as far in advance as possible, even if you don’t know whether or not your mentee is able to attend
    • Mentees are still developing time management and planning skills. Knowing that you are planning to attend is a huge motivator and helps the mentee commit to the event
    • Keep me updated if your plans change
    • If you and your mentee are unable to meet, I expect you to take the lead to reschedule and follow up until you meet up
  • Monthly iMi Relationship Check-In (sliding scale)—“How strong is your relationship with ______?”
    • Be honest
    • Your answer is not something anyone besides I will see
    • First time that you’ll see it is a month into your relationship
    • Not optional, required to move onto the next screen
  • Quarterly surveys
    • All of these are found in the weekly update, another reason to read them! 

Value the safety of your mentee*

  • Keep online communication limited to the iMentor email platform.
  • If there is any question of self harm or harm to others, please let us know immediately.
  • Keep us informed about OOP meetings
  • Since you have been Go Pass fingerprinted as part of our screening process, you and your mentee will have the opportunity to meet up outside of official iMentor events and the iMentor office after an additional consent form is signed. This is a great way to make up missed events!

*This section is particular to NYC program safety - adjust accordingly.

What you can expect from me

  • So, as you can see, I have high expectations of you (and for your mentee)! But, you can also have high expectations of me. What are you expecting from me? How are you expecting to utilize my support this year? Make sure all the below points are touched on.)
  • Coaching and support with anything related to your match
  • A guide to resources
  • Updates and information on events and curriculum
    • Weekly Update every ___________
    • Event/Email Reminders
    • Periodic check ins
    • Quarterly calls (this one, Mid Year, Spring Call)
  • Timely response to any question
  • Putting safety and security of mentee and all participants first

PC Tip: There is a lot covered in this section, but the more direct and clear you can be, the better.


This section is intended to be brief. It is where you wrap up the call and review any next steps that the mentor needs to take related to your partner site and the general iMentor program.

  • Follow up Email: Attach the following
    • Qualities and Actions of a good mentor
    • Check List Goals
    • Upcoming Events 
    • Mentor/PC expectations
  • Include reminders about: 
    • Upcoming Email
    • Upcoming Event
    • Survey (if not yet complete)

Thank mentor for their time and express excitement for the upcoming year!