FIRST Senior Mentor Position Description

 

Summary
FIRST® Senior Mentors (or FSMs) are a group of highly skilled and talented, technical and non-technical individuals serving in various locations across the United States and Canada. Their main focus is on recruiting, supporting, and expanding FIRST programs at the local level. 

FIRST Senior Mentors contribute on average 10-15 hours per week in a part-time position. FSMs work closely and collaboratively with local Program Leaders in their area (Regional Director, Partners), Regional/State Operating Committees, and FIRST VISTA members. In their service, FIRST Senior Mentors have many opportunities to provide critical support to FIRST in their region. Many FSMs support local FIRST programs by identifying and recruiting volunteers to be Mentors, Coaches, and event Volunteers while supporting existing teams, Mentors, and Coaches.

FIRST Senior Mentors are recruited through a nomination process that occurs locally at the recommendation of their local program leaders (Regional Directors and/or Partners) because of their previous relationships with FIRST Programs and their general understanding of the culture of FIRST. Most FSMs have an existing relationship with FIRST as Team Mentors, Coaches, or event volunteers.

FIRST Senior Mentors serve under an annual contract which can be renewed each year, contingent upon the FIRST Senior Mentor being in good standing with the program. FIRST Senior Mentor contracts typically start on July 1st and end on June 30th each year.

 

 Field Responsibilities:

  • Build relationships with volunteer recruitment resources such as companies, professional associations, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations for support of FIRST Programs;
  • Recruit, support and recognize volunteers to serve as FIRST Team Mentors, Coaches, or as Event Volunteers;
  • Support Teams, Mentors, and Coaches within their geographic area;
  • Link, where possible, new volunteers into the existing network of FIRST teams, and to assist in coordinating training and support for new Teams, Mentors and Coaches;
  • Facilitate and/or conduct presentations and/or skills-building workshops for potential and current mentors, coaches, event volunteers, and teams;
  • Work within FIRST programs to assess and meet the support needs of volunteers, bolster volunteer motivation and retention, and facilitate volunteer recognition.

 

Job Responsibilities

  • Develop an annual service plan in collaboration with their local Program Leaders (Regional Director, Partners, Regional/State Operating Committees) in the areas where they serve
  • Submit regular member impact data reports and expense reports in compliance with submission deadlines
  • Participate in teleconferences, web conference meetings, and other trainings (usually twice monthly)
  • Perform other duties as required/assigned

 

Qualifications and Attributes: 

The ideal candidate will possess the following professional qualifications, and personal attributes:

  • Experience as a FIRST® volunteer, especially as a Team Mentor with FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO® League, or FIRST Tech Challenge is strongly preferred
  • A demonstrated commitment to the FIRST mission and goals
  • Experience in volunteer recruitment, screening, training, motivation and recognition
  • An understanding of office and internet technology and the ability to utilize systems
  • An ability to effectively handle interpersonal situations, including tactfully handling feedback
  • A high energy level, flexible, and self-motivated
  • Articulate, with a proven ability to write and speak well
  • Highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and experience working with diverse communities
  • An ability to meet the travel requirements of the position

 

Recruitment priorities: 

FIRST Senior Mentors are recruited through a nomination process that occurs locally at the recommendation of their local program leaders:

  • Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate their ability and commitment to serve the required hours for the position, for the duration of the contract
  • Based on organizational needs, secondary priority will be given to applicants who are able to serve in locations where there is some level of infrastructure of FIRST® LEGO® League Jr., FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition and/or in underserved communities
  • Part-Time positions are currently available based on organizational needs

 

Benefits of Service: 

  • Each FIRST® Senior Mentor is eligible to receive a monthly honorarium payment. This payment is taxable, and the project will not withhold taxes from these payments. The FSM is responsible for paying any and all taxes on these payments.
  • Each FIRST Senior Mentor is provided with an expense reimbursement allowance to offset FIRST-related expenses, as detailed in the FIRST Travel and Expense Policies
  • Training and support

 

Regionally funded FIRST® Senior Mentor Model

Most FIRST® Senior Mentor positions are funded through FIRST HQ, however there are additional options to provide support on the local level. The Regional FIRST Senior Mentor, or RFSM, is supported and underwritten financially on a regional level, and would sign the standard FIRST Senior Mentor contract and adhere to the requirements as outlined above and below.

  • All contracts shall commence no sooner than July 1st, (or at the time of signing the contract) and will run through June 30th, each year
  • RFSMs will be paid through FIRST on a monthly basis in compliance with the requirements of their contract
  • Funds required to support the RFSM position are the responsibility of the local Program Leaders requesting the position
  • Funds to support the RFSM position should be received by FIRST in advance of their taking their placement
  • Regional FIRST Senior Mentors will be recruited at the recommendation of the local Program Leaders (Regional Directors, Partners, Regional/State Operating Committees, etc.)

 

FIRST® Senior Mentor Program Manager:

The main contact for all active members is the FIRST® Senior Mentor Program in Manchester, NH. Questions regarding the FIRST Senior Mentor Program should be directed via email to:

Ashley Liles
FIRST Senior Mentor/AmeriCorps VISTA Programs Manager
aliles@firstinspires.org

FIRST welcomes a diverse pool of candidates.