Dear Vegan Outreach Mentor,
Thank you for your interest in our Vegan Mentor Program, which provides valuable guidance to those making the transition to – or trying to stick with – a more compassionate diet. With your participation, this program will give people the extra help they need to become and remain vegetarian and vegan.
As a mentor, you will act as a resource, guiding folks as they navigate their grocery store aisles, decide what delicious dish to bring to their work potluck, figure out how to talk to their child’s teacher about their dietary requirements, and much more.
Below you will find guidelines and expectations for the Vegan Mentor Program.
Making the transition to a plant-based diet is much easier with someone there to provide support and encouragement. We are so grateful for your willingness to lend that support – and we are confident the folks you mentor will be too.
|Jack Norris, RD
President, Vegan Outreach
Why a Vegan Mentor Program?
Many people aspire to be vegetarian or vegan but need support in making the transition. They may not know where to start in replacing animal foods in their diet and need help finding satisfying foods. Others are already vegan, but lack the support of their peers. They might not know anyone else who shares their concern for animals, and being able to talk to someone who does can go a long way in reassuring them that they are doing the right thing.
Mentor/Mentee Matching Process
All of our mentees are individuals who have reached out to VO and requested a mentor. Mentees are matched to mentors based on several criteria, including goals, preferred communication, and location when possible.
Mentoring can consist of conversations over email or social media, phone calls, or even in-person meetings.
Once a match has been made, Vegan Outreach will provide the mentor and mentee with an email introduction and each other’s contact information. We encourage matches to contact each other as soon as possible.
At times mentors and mentees might have different personalities or goals for the experience; this is perfectly acceptable and does not reflect negatively on either party. If at any point, either the mentor or mentee feels it is not a good match, they should contact Vegan Outreach to ask for a change.
What Is Expected of Me as a Mentor?
Some mentees will want consistent communication, while others will want more occasional advice and guidance. Please discuss with your mentee what his/her expectations are.
On our website, you’ll find the article “Communicating with Friends and Family,” which will give you an idea of how Vegan Outreach would like our mentors to approach issues that might be of concern for your mentees. Please feel free to send your mentee the article if you find it would be helpful.
While all of our mentees have requested mentors from VO, there are times when mentees change their mind about needing assistance or are not fully engaged in the program. This should not discourage you as a mentor. Simply let VO know you need another mentee.
What Is Not Expected of Me as a Mentor?
Only health professionals should provide medical advice. Giving people general nutrition recommendations, such as those found in the Daily Recommendations at VeganHealth.org, is great, but if someone needs specific nutrition advice, please tell them to contact a health professional or refer them to Jack Norris, RD (Jack@VeganOutreach.org).
From time to time, Vegan Outreach will be contacting your mentee(s) to see if the program is having an impact in helping them to transition toward a vegan diet. These short surveys will help us measure the impact of the Vegan Mentor Program.
If you have any questions, please contact Jean Bettanny, Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator, at JeanB@VeganOutreach.org.
Please complete the online form to sign up as a Vegan Outreach Mentor.