Celebrating the Power of Mentoring with EXITO Connections

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BUILD EXITO welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the importance of mentoring relationships in the EXITO program while celebrating Mentoring Month in January. As a larger consortium, we recognize the power of mentoring and the importance of having someone support you, provide resources, answer questions, and be available as you navigate your personal and professional journey.  As we worked toward recruiting our fourth cohort of BUILD EXITO Scholars, the EXITO team chose to promote mentorship as one of the most vital BUILD Scholar experiences while conducting outreach to prospective Scholars. In anticipation of the #myBUILDmentor campaign, we asked our community to help us highlight the variety of mentoring relationships that an EXITO Scholar may gain as part of the program. Our outreach for these "EXITO Connections" returned an overwhelming response of stories--on mentoring and being mentored--describing the indispensable relationships that were cultivated through BUILD EXITO.

As we showcased examples across the BUILD EXITO Consortium of Scholar-to-Scholar, Career Mentor-to-Scholar, Faculty-to-Scholar, and Research Mentor-to-Scholar stories, we found that regardless of the dynamics of pairings, one of the most apparent themes was a mutual respect for the co-learning and co-production that occurs within a mentoring relationship. Luckily for us, many responses also included some candid and playful anecdotes describing how these relationships formed and have persisted. We tried to highlight examples of how mentorship relationships formed through EXITO and ultimately transcended the program; many Scholars and faculty described their hopes to remain connected both personally and professionally. We aim to continue to articulate the many forms of mentorship that exist within BUILD EXITO, in an effort to demonstrate the value and centrality that mentorship plays in EXITO's plan for creating successful research pathways. We look forward to watching these relationships deepen and other new mentoring relationships from within the EXITO community and across the entire BUILD consortium.