Encore Mentoring Program

Connecting Deeply to Greater Cleveland

Program Overview


Our goal is for each of our teachers to feel connected to the broader community. Civic mentoring is intended to provide corps members with a connection to community beyond the network Teach For America provides, to learn of community resources and to help with skill development without specifically focusing on teacher professional development. The level of engagement between corps members and mentors varies depending on each unique connection.

"As an Encore Mentor for Teach For America, I have the opportunity to support new teachers as they work passionately to advance education equity in Cleveland. Listening and learning about the challenges they face while witnessing their dedication first-hand is incredibly inspiring and rewarding."

                                         -Mary Anne Crampton, Encore Mentor


"I am incredibly grateful for the Encore Mentorship Program. Over the past two years, I have met with great leaders throughout Northeast Ohio, further developed my skills and interests and become firmly connected me with the beautiful city of Cleveland. I believe in transformational change in Cleveland. That's saying a lot for someone who was born and raised in the sunshine and suburbia of Southern California. When I tell people where I am from, some Clevelanders pause and ask, "Well, what are you doing here in Cleveland?" As you will soon see, this program has set me on a path to continue to learn, grow and make an impact in our community." 

                                     -JC Stiassni, Greater Cleveland '14


Join us as we help to strive for a Greater Cleveland.

  • Expectations for Mentors
  • Expectations for Advisors
  • Expectations for Corps Members

Mentors commit to connect with a Teach For America corps member and build a relationship. Mentors must attend a mandatory training in June to be followed by an all-corps member/all-mentor event. After that, the relationship is expected to be consistent for at least the first year, with optional connections afterward. 

Many mentors find that the time commitment ranges from 1-2 hours every month and the level of involvement will shift over the course of the school year. Due to demands on corps members’ time, the amount of time spent in building a relationship will evolve over the course of the two years, with ebbs and flows aligned to the school calendar. Mentors and corps members meet for coffee, attend civic events, join each other at familial or religious engagements, explore parts of the city or region, connect in classrooms or board rooms, truly the way you connect will be individual to your relationship.

Teach For America provides opportunities to connect through group events for mentor to mentor connections, as well as mentor to corps member connections. These events are not strictly required, but they are designed to provide you ready-made opportunities to connect. 

Your mentoring relationship might be that of a counselor, friend, adviser, civic connector, family-away-from-home, restaurant recommender, classroom supporter, advocate, willing ear or something else entirely. The goal of this program is to provide a significant connection between a mentor and a corps member, to engage mentors in the work of expanding educational opportunity, and to provide another reason for a corps member to stay in Cleveland after their two-year commitment ends.

 Reading to students

In the second year of the corps commitment, Encore Advisors help to connect corps members to the next phase of their leadership development.

Advisors come from all sectors and interests to help corps members develop skills, think critically about career planning, connect to opportunities and engage with the larger community (including volunteer, board, or other civic opportunities).

It is helpful to think of the advisor process as the next level of mentoring - moving beyond connecting to the community and connecting more to the leadership development potential in each corps member.

Advisors report about one hour per month as the amount of time connecting to a corps member. Advisors can participate more and to their level of availability and interest. Some mentors engage more broadly, while others meet at TFA sponsored events to connect. Ultimately, the relationship will shift as needs change.

100 Days Celebration

Corps members are expected to connect with their mentor and/or advisor. Corps members should reply to emails, phone calls or text messages in a timely manner and make their expectations for the relationship and availability for the relationship clear to their mentor. 


Mentors and corps members connect in the early part of the school year.

Upcoming Events

We’re currently planning our next event. Please check back soon for details.