Mentoring Programs

Some people at your school are interested in going vegetarian or vegan, but need help and support to make the diet change. To provide this help and support, you can start a vegetarian and vegan mentoring program! In mentoring programs, someone who is already vegetarian helps a non-vegetarian become vegetarian. Or, someone who is already vegan helps a non-vegan become become vegan or vegetarian.

How does a mentoring program work? 

Members of your club who are vegetarian or vegan are mentors. All students, teachers and staff at your school can be mentored.

Your mentoring program can have a strict schedule, or a flexible schedule. In a program with a strict schedule, mentees and mentors have to sign up by a deadline, and mentorship starts and ends on specific dates. With a flexible schedule, mentorship starts at any time of the year, and the mentorship can last as long as the mentee wants it to. Choose whichever schedule works best for your club.

First, mentees ask mentors questions about vegetarianism or veganism, and the mentor provides help and support. 

Here are some topics that mentors and mentees can talk about:

The mentee and mentor must meet up in person at least once, but otherwise they text, email and use Facebook and twitter. Mentors must check in with mentees a couple of times a week. The mentees are invited to all of the club meetings, where they are introduced to all club members.

Mentees can receive a vegan gift basket. (optional)

Baskets contain many vegan snacks. Baskets also contain brochures about vegetarianism.

You do not have to pay for gift baskets with your own money. Instead, Vegfund or other grant programs can provide grants to cover the cost.

Those who want to mentor or be mentored must fill out a form. 

Set up these forms online, with something like google forms. Here are some sample forms:


For Mentees:Full Name:Email:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Phone number:

What’s the best way to contact you?

Student/Teacher/Staff (circle one)

Specify: (if student, specify grade. if teacher, specify subject. if staff, specify job):

Current diet:

Do you want to become a vegetarian or vegan?

Why are you interested changing your diet?

What’s your biggest concern about changing your diet?

How long will you change your diet?

What are your interests? What do you do for fun?

For Mentors:Full Name:Email

Facebook:

Twitter:

Phone number:

What’s the best way to contact you?

Student/Teacher/Staff (circle one)

Specify (if student, specify grade. if teacher, specify subject. if staff, specify job):

Current diet:

Why did you become vegetarian or vegan?

What are your interests? What do you do for fun?

How many mentees are you willing to have?


So…how do you start a vegetarian and vegan mentoring program?

Plan the details.

Discuss the program with your club members. What will you do? Will you have a strict or flexible schedule? Will your mentoring program look like the one I described above? Or will it be different?

If you want to have gift baskets, apply for a grant from Vegfund or another grant program to pay for the food and brochures.

If you are applying for a Vegfund grant, apply for a “merit award.” In the application, you will need two references. Ask your teachers, your club’s faculty sponsor, and other adults to be your references. Also, you will need to describe your activism experience, provide a description of the project, a project timeline, and a detailed budget. In the budget, include the costs of the foods and brochures in the gift baskets.

If you are not a vegan adult, you will need to apply under a vegan adult’s name. The adult vegan does not need to fill out the application themselves, but you need to fill out the application under their name. If you don’t know an adult vegan, contact major vegetarian activism organizations and ask them if someone is willing to allow you to apply under their name. Or join the alliance, and we can put you in contact with someone who will help you.

Vegfund only allows experienced activists are to apply for merit awards, so if you are unexperienced, then you cannot apply. Try applying for another grant program.

Advertise!

Advertise the program throughout your school through posters, announcements and commercials. You can also advertise during events like taste testings.

Gather mentees and mentors!

Ask mentees to sign up with the forms above. Ask members of your club to volunteer as mentors. Talk to mentors to make sure that they understand their responsibilities. Assign mentees to mentors.

Manage the program.

Overall, while the program runs, check in with mentors often. Keep everything running smoothly.

If you use gift baskets, make sure that all mentees have their gift basket. Eventually, show Vegfund the results of the mentoring program!