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2023 in a nutshell: which are M4U Colombia's goals?

di Team Editoriale | M4U

It has been six years since Mentors4u Colombia embarked on its mission to create better professional opportunities for young people in Colombia through the implementation of mentoring programs. The remarkable outcomes have positioned mentoring as a catalyst that enhances Colombia’s diverse talent. Additionally, over these years of dedicated work, we have partnered with several organizations from the public, private, and social sectors, reaching out to more than 1000 individuals (mentors and mentees).

Currently, we have implemented nine mentoring programs using the 'Designing Your Life' methodology and career professional tools. We have also gained valuable insights and best practices to strengthen the mentoring model. In 2023, we achieved significant outcomes that we consider crucial for the future of Mentors4U Colombia:

First, we supported the implementation of the second cohort of the mentoring program for 30 students from the National University, one of the country's top universities, in collaboration with the Fulbright Colombia Commission. This program connected 30 students with mentors who were Fulbright graduates or employees. The most significant achievement was leaving the capacity within the Fulbright Commission team, meaning they will be able to implement mentoring programs independently.

Second, in our mission to contribute to closing gaps in the labor market, we implemented a mentoring program in Ibagué-Tolima, the second city with the highest unemployment rate in Colombia. In partnership with the University of Ibagué, a high-quality accredited institution, we joined forces to guide and support young people during their transition to a productive life. The program targeted over 100 undergraduates and graduates, connecting them with mentors from various backgrounds and high-level professionals. This program enabled us to identify the challenges that young people face in their context and offer them a mentoring program that provided guidance, professional preparation, and the opportunity to create support networks to access better job opportunities.

Last but not least, this year, we also restructured the Mentors4u Colombia team. Yineth Rentería, our Co-Founder, was promoted to CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Juan José Escobar assumed the role of Operations Coordinator, and Daniel Uribe became the President of the executive committee. We are confident that with this new team structure, we will continue to achieve our primary objective of creating professional opportunities for young people, representing Colombia's diverse talent, ensuring their access to and permanence in the job market.

We are highly motivated to commence 2024 with innovative programs that enable us to continue supporting the life paths of young people in Colombia. Therefore, we have outlined the following objectives:

First, we plan to strengthen the community of mentors and mentees who have participated in the nine mentoring programs conducted during these six years of work. We aim to build a community with over 1,000 participants to facilitate the exchange of experiences, opportunities, and social capital.

Second, we will implement mentoring programs that support the professional transition of young people in collaboration with universities, further positioning mentoring as the primary bridge between academia and the job market.

Third, our goal is to transform narratives of inequality into narratives of equity by creating professional opportunities for young individuals showcasing Colombia's diverse talent. We have identified that in Colombia, there are still challenges for young people from ethnic communities to access and remain in the job market, making it imperative to launch a professional acceleration program that empowers them to progress toward their professional goals.

In conclusion, all these efforts lead us to reinforce our work team and consolidate a group of investors and allies, ensuring that the mission of Mentors4u Colombia materializes into more and improved opportunities foryoung people who represent the diverse talent of our country.

Yineth Renteria

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