RCE Greater Atlanta - 2020

RCE GA Mentorship Program
Basic Information
Title of project : 
RCE GA Mentorship Program
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Greater Atlanta members Georgia Tech, KSU, Agnes Scott, Emory, Georgia State University, etc. and many sustainability professionals in the area
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Adair Garrett
Organizational Affiliation: 
Georgia Tech
Scott Sadler
Organizational Affiliation: 
Boardwalk Capital Management
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, October 16, 2020
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Greater Atlanta Area (& one online pair from California & Salisbury)
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Georgia Institute of Technology

Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Atlanta is an incredibly economically diverse city. There are areas that are very poor, and others that are obscenely wealthy. Atlanta is also full of university life and culture, and the mentorship program tries to tap into the resources of these academic institutions and spread them throughout the community.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
In Atlanta, there are water, transportation, equity, and race issues that are constantly shaping the political field and the community. The RCE GA already works to address those issues, but the mentorship program works to bring those issues to something that can be addressed on the local level through one-on-one interactions between experienced mentors and passionate students.
August, 2020 to August, 2021
The project hopes to “lift up” students in underserved populations and help to “level the playing field” in the pursuit of post-graduation employment. Transitioning from school to employment can be traumatic, and one is not born ready to be “an employee”. Through regular discussions with executives and business leaders, our hope is to create a cohort that is more prepared for this transition, is more successful in gaining employment, and is more valuable to their employers, thereby creating a more stable employment situation for employee and employer.

The "period" is shown to be a single year but the project will continue past that period. The "cycle" of the program lasts a year, so each student will have a mentor for a period of approximately four months.
In Atlanta, there are many cultures and institutions interacting constantly. Around Georgia Tech specifically, there is a huge loss of opportunity because Georgia Tech students are provided opportunities constantly while many of our collegues at surrounding universities are not. Furthermore, many community members are interested in becoming involved in Sustainable Development, but have no idea where to begin.

Sustainable Development Goal #8 is Decent Work and Economic Growth. “Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.” (The UN) The overall objective of this project, therefore, is to ensure prepare area students for gainful employment – to create those conditions that help to offset other factors that may have hindered the achievement of such objectives in the past.

Measurement of the success of this program will begin with measuring the size of the cohort, their demographics and the range of institutions that are involved. In the intermediate period, we would like to determine how many M/M relationships persist beyond one semester. Over the long term, we plan to measure the placement of these students into full time jobs, and even measure their satisfaction in those jobs, recognizing the short-term economic conditions will vary on a year-by-year basis and influence both short and long-term success.

Other objectives include:
• Employer success in hiring students into full time positions
• Student leadership of the program
• Geographic expansion of the program to additional regions of the State of Georgia
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The Atlanta RCE Youth Mentorship Program will connect area college students, especially those of color, with local business managers, non-profit executives, and academic sector leaders. The program will draw on a schematic of engagement that will prompt discussion and engagement between the Mentor and Mentee (M/M). Topics will likely include goal setting and course work, career paths. cover letters and resume writing, networking and business interaction, phone etiquette, etc. Engagement will occur monthly, on a schedule determined by the M/M, and will be entirely via phone or video conference. Organizers will attempt to minimize administrative burdens for all parties.
Key elements to determine the success in this program are the recruitment of student mentees and executive mentors. Co-leads are engaging local universities in the Metro Atlanta vicinity (Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Oglethorpe University, Morehouse College, Agnes Scott College, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, University of Georgia, University of West Georgia, University of North Georgia, Spelman College.)
Engagement between mentors and mentees will be for one semester with the option to renew at the end of each one. This provides an easy option if one party wishes to “shuffle the deck”.
Size of academic audience: 
We expect that mentor/mentee engagement will result in a higher placement percentage of students into full time position post-graduation (versus their colleges as a whole.) Students in the program will benefit from a superior life-long earnings trajectory. Colleges will benefit from placement of their students, post-graduation. Executives will benefit from increased recruiting as well as insights into the behaviors and attitudes of younger generation consumers.

This project will also achieve three major RCE GA goals, including:

Advance SDG Knowledge & Action: The project is focused on SDG 8 (Decent Work) SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality.) We have clear objectives to engage young women and student of color, to enhance their education, connect it with the objectives of the business/employer community and enhance the likelihood of students achieving their long-term employment goals.

Model Inclusive & Collaborative Community: The project seeks to connect students of all backgrounds at all colleges and universities in the Atlanta region. It also seeks a diverse group of mentors to engage students in a variety of ways in many areas of interest and overlap.

Nurture Strong Youth Leadership: We are hoping to provide opportunities for students to lead this program over the long term. Currently, RCE Mentorship Student Recruiters currently are acting as liaison between the project Co-Leads and Spelman, Emory, GSU, and KSU (current universities involved through student recruiters).
Lessons learned: 
This program has worked much better in its second year. The first year, I ran it alone as a student and constantly struggled to find mentors. This year, I'm working with Scott, who is the CEO of Boardwalk Capital Management. Scott has so many connections and is not afraid to call up any possible mentor and recruit them. Since Scott has joined, we have had a huge growth in mentor and mentee participation and continue to see the positive effects of his recruitment efforts. We are constantly recruiting, which I think is key to a successful program.
Key messages: 
The project embodies RCE GA Network principles:
# 1 Creating a multigenerational network of employers and students.
# 2 Advancing equity and opportunity by specifically targeting inclusion of HBCUs and students of color and by promoting the objective of decent work and long-term economic prosperity across a variety of groups.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Other UN initiatives include the RCE Americas Conference and the Millennium Campus Network Fellowship; these opportunities will be advertised to the mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, it relates directly to the other Action Groups within the RCE Greater Atlanta, including the HELC (who can provide mentors) as well as the group that will host Marvelous Mondays; RCE Mentorship Recruiters will send these opportunities out to their student networks and their faculty networks.
There is no funding for this project.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon civic dinner 2.jpg (246.56 KB) Civic Dinner for Mentor & Mentee Networking Adair Garrett
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level