MENTOR PROGRAM

Applications for our 2020-2021 season are now open!

The goal of our mentor program is to provide positive role models for younger people in debate in order to decrease the number of marginalized dropping out of speech and debate as a whole.

When you are in an atmosphere where you are subject to discrimination and excluded, with no one to help out, it sucks. We know firsthand how demoralizing it all can be, but we promise you aren’t in it alone. We hope that this program will give people across the nation access to positive role models to help them progress as speechies and debaters and offer them the support that they might not have on their teams.

The bottom line is that debate is a lot more fun with friends, and we aspire to help people from all backgrounds connect with each other, and more importantly, with people like themselves.

This program is 100% online and free for all participants, and students from all speech and debate activities are welcome to participate in this program.

Note: The primary purpose is to create a support system for marginalized groups in debate. If specific mentees want help with drills, case edits, or any other debate skills, we will do our best to provide them a mentor who meets those needs. We also have a free coaching service, if you are interested in that.

For Mentors

The mentor’s role is to provide support for their mentee by advising them in debate matters from things as small as helping choose outfits before tournaments or checking up on them between rounds to discussing what it means to stay in debate or how to cope with demoralizing or even dangerous experiences. Mentors will have to complete basic training before being paired with a mentee.

Mentors must be between their junior year of high school and their fourth year after HS, with at least three years of experience in debate. Mentors must commit to messaging their mentee at least once every week and calling their mentee at least every other week. If we feel a mentor applicant is not ready to be a mentor, we may suggest for them to participate as a mentee for one cycle of the program before becoming a mentor.

Beyond Resolved can verify community service hours for mentors.

For Mentees

Anyone in middle school or high school debate can be a mentee as long as we can find a mentor for them! You do not need coach/team approval to apply and participation will be confidential.

Mentors will be more experienced than their mentee and matches are tailored to the specific goals of the mentee (ex: if a mentee wants to focus on a local circuit, we will try to pair them with someone who is from the same area, if a mentee wants to discuss issues with a certain identity or background they will be matched with a mentor who also has those experiences).

How does the program work?

We will use answers from applications to pair up mentors and mentees. Mentors can participate in an optional interview to help us get more information.

The accuracy of the match obviously depends on the pool of applicants, but we will try our best to set up mentees with mentors that fit their specific needs!

We will ask mentors and mentees to send in progress reports so we can make sure all is running smoothly, and BR will always be available to assist with issues participants may have.

How can I support the program?

If you can’t participate in this program, you can still help us by sharing information with people you think may be interested, or by making a donation to Beyond Resolved which helps us cover the expenses for programs like these. For more information, visit beyondresolved.org/donate.