What is the extent of my involvement with the student?
You make that decision. The suggested schedule is six annual communications (via letters, calls or emails). Many mentors and students speak or communicate more frequently and often they exchange photographs, postcards from trips, small gifts, or educational supplies.
What are the impacts of Indian gaming revenues on Futures’ students?
There is a modern mythology about American Indians: that all American Indians are rich from Indian gaming. In fact, only 240 of 562 Indian nations have gaming. There are 322 American Indian nations that have no gaming at all. As it happens, Futures works primarily with tribes that do not have gaming enterprises. While most of the tribes we work with support the rights of other tribes to conduct gaming, they have chosen not to engage in gaming themselves.
The students who participate in Futures’ programs are not direct beneficiaries of Indian gaming revenues. Most of the communities in which we work are geographically isolated from the mainstream economy. Their need for the support we provide, access to programs that ensure academic success, is unaffected by the Indian gaming boom in other parts of the United States.
Making communications easier for your student is always appreciated. Many student homes are distant from postal delivery and some lack email or telephone access. Student profiles will identify details about communication access.
At times cultivating a mentor/student relationship can have communication hurdles. You should always feel free to contact the Futures for Children Mentor Assistant. She will have your student's Regional Coordinator investigate the situation and report back to you with an update.
How can I mentor a student and live far away from him/her?
More than 95% of our mentors live outside our current service area. The encouragement that a mentor provides is invaluable regardless of physical location. Mentors create or support their student’s awareness of the value of education and open their eyes to experiences outside the student’s community.
How often do I have to write? How often does the student have to write?
The suggested schedule for both student and mentor communication is six times annually, once every two months. We find the majority of mentorship relationships have increased communications, but even this basic amount proves to be successful. Telephone calls, emails, postcards, and visits also are options, depending on resources available.