Event Calendar

Become a Mentor

Mentor Application

Mentor applications are open for the 2013/2014 academic year. 


  1. Complete online application
  2. Submit 1-page bio and current headshot to philana.kiely@mbawomen.org
  3. Obtain Fingerprint Clearance Card (Clearance Card applications will be sent to approved mentors. Processing time for Clearance Cards is 5-8 weeks. Clearance cards are due January 1, 2014.)

To view the application before submitting an application, click here.

Navajo Nation Mentor Trip

Though not required, the Navajo Nation Mentor Trip is highly encouraged for participants.

  • Dates: November 13-16, 2013
  • Locations visited:
    • Albuquerque, NM
    • Gallup, NM
    • Window Rock, AZ
    • Sanders, AZ

Mentor Benefits

As a mentor or ádí, you will have a chance to play a significant role in influencing and guiding these wonderful young women to pursue higher education and avail of the educational resources that they may not be aware of or have access to. You will enjoy several benefits:

  • Gain personal satisfaction from being able to impact your mentee’s professional and personal development.
  • An opportunity to interact with your mentee in person, and share your experiences and knowledge.
  • Broaden your professional and social network as you meet fellow NAWMBA members from across the country.
  • Improve your leadership skills such as problem solving and effective communication.
  • Gain a broader perspective and experience the Navajo culture first-hand by visiting your mentee on the Navajo Nation.

Mentor Testimonials

The March 2009 inaugural visit to the Navajo Reservation began as a crusade to motivate and inspire Navajo girls, and turned into an educational experience for the NAWMBA members. They returned with a determination to keep helping girls on the Reservation achieve higher education and a brighter future. See what some of our adí had to say about their experiences with the program.

Jacquelyn McAnelly

“We had a special opportunity to learn firsthand about the struggles that these students face and use that information to find out how we can best connect with them and show them the importance of education.”

Eka Santhika

“I felt overwhelmed by the social circumstances experienced and realized that the problems were much larger and more complex than I ever thought.”

Arthi Gunaseelan

“Going to the reservations was an eye opener because I found it hard to comprehend the fact that such a place actually exists in a country like the United States. “

Philana Kiely

“I have always thought that these girls have a huge amount of potential, and after speaking with them, I believe it now more than ever.”

Mentor FAQs

What is the duration of the mentor-mentee relationship?

In order for you to be able to guide your mentee through high school and college, and help her with career development, this relationship is essentially long-term, however, a one-year time commitment is needed at the very least.

How often do I have to contact my mentee?

Ideally, you should contact your mentee at least once a week. The more regularly you are in touch with your mentee, the better.

What should I do if I have not heard from my mentee in two weeks?

If you have contacted your mentee and have not heard from her in two weeks or more, please contact the Shideezhí Program program director, Philana Kiely, atphilana@mbawomen.org, to check with the mentee. In the event that a mentee stops responding and decides to discontinue her participation in the program, we will try to match you up with a different mentee.

Is the trip to the Navajo Reservation mandatory to be able to participate in the program?

No, the trip to the Reservation is not mandatory to be able to participate in the program but is highly encouraged. This is because it is a very valuable opportunity for mentors to visit and bond with their mentees and is a great chance for mentors and mentees to meet in person. We want to enable all adeezhí to meet and spend time with their adí.

Can I send money to my mentee?

No. Sending monetary gifts is not an acceptable part of the mentoring program. It also creates disparities as not all mentees will receive monetary gifts from their mentors.

What should I do if my mentee reveals information about abuse of any sort that she or members of her family are facing?

If you have become aware that your mentee’s safety or the safety of another is in jeopardy through disclosure, report your concern to the mentor program director or guidance counselor immediately. Let your mentee know that you are required to do so. Discuss this requirement at the beginning of the relationship to inform the mentee of your obligation to report safety concerns.

Why is a federal background check required to be a mentor?

Any and all programs that work with children and youth are responsible for exercising due diligence and putting in place appropriate protective measures. Thus, to ensure the safety of our mentees, we are obligated to have all our mentors submit to a routine federal background check.

Are there other ways to contribute to the Shideezhí Project if I can't participate as a mentor?

Yes. If you are unable to devote your time to the Shideezhí Program as a mentor, you can contribute in the following ways:

  • Organize and participate in fundraising efforts on behalf of your NAWMBA chapter to raise money for the program
  • Volunteer to be your NAWMBA chapter’s Shideezhí Program representative and help the program directors with coordination of program logistics

Mentoring Links


“E-mentoring: The benefits of using online tools to mentor teens”


“How Mentoring Teenagers Benefits both the Teens and their Mentors”


“The Effects of a Mentoring Program on At-Risk Youth”


“Mentoring At-Risk Youth”