Creating mentorship opportunities for rural youth through eMentoring

The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be confusing and difficult—emotionally, mentally and logistically. A mentor can serve as a personal tour guide to this stage of life, especially a mentor who has recently experienced it. However, finding a positive role model can be difficult in rural communities, as they are less populated and have fewer young adult inhabitants. Virtual mentorship opportunities can help rural communities widen their networks by overcoming geographical constraints. In this workshop we describe one virtual mentorship model, Rural eMentoring BC’s eMentoring program, and how it can be used in rural high schools. This free program virtually connects rural youth with mentors who are in a variety of post secondary programs in BC. Post secondary students are ideal mentors for youth, as they are near-peers who are more relatable and less intimidating than working professionals—and who better to encourage students to consider post secondary than post secondary students! In the eMentoring program, mentors guide students through a flexible, semi-structured curriculum that prepares them for life after high school. Along the way, mentors describe their journey to adulthood, and their process for making decisions about careers and post secondary. Mentees learn from their mentor’s journey, and get personalized advice about well-being, budgeting, studying, moving away from home and much more. We will demonstrate how mentors and mentees safely communicate using eMentoring's online platform, and will showcase our curriculum. Learn the different ways you can bring eMentors to your students, and how eMentoring can help you meet your school’s goals. Participants will leave this session understanding resources available through Rural eMentoring BC, and knowing the value of near-peer mentorship.  

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A1 Friday 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

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  • Rural eMentoring BC
    Juliet Oshiro

    I am the project manager for Rural eMentoring BC. My role is run the program; specifically to bring eMentoring to rural high schools around the province, carry out the strategic vision of our stakeholders, and to support teachers, mentors, and mentees through their eMentoring journey. I also oversee the program's scholarly pursuits, including writing research papers and presenting at research conferences. I bring to my role experience and passion for mentoring; in the past, I served as a volunteer mentor in several mentoring programs, including one held online. In this workshop, I hope to share my knowledge of mentoring pedagogy, and my firsthand experiences with the value of mentoring.
    Rural eMentoring BC was started in 2016 by a collaboration between Dr. Sandra Jarvis-Selinger (Associate Dean Academic, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences) and the Rural Education Action Plan (REAP), with the goal of addressing the need for rural healthcare practitioners through mentorship.  As the program expanded, so did its goals; in 2020 it expanded to meet the needs of students with all career interests, not just healthcare, with the goal of increasing interest in post secondary among rural students. The program is offered for free, as Rural eMentoring BC is a non-profit, fully funded by Doctors of BC.