Call for Mentors                                                Apply Now!

For Consideration, apply by July 15, 2021.

The Esperanza Education Fund, Inc. is a community-financed college scholarship and mentorship program founded and operated by a diverse, all-volunteer group of young professionals in the capital region. Since our founding in early 2009, we have awarded more than $1 million in college scholarships to immigrant students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Unlike most scholarships of its kind, the Esperanza scholarship is open to all immigrant students regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.

In addition to helping scholars pay for their college tuition, the Esperanza Education Fund continues to support its scholars through our Scholar Success program. The purpose of the program is to provide students with an additional resource for navigating college and the multiple challenges they confront as they develop professionally. We match interested scholars with local mentors who are passionate about supporting scholars throughout their college education and beyond. Esperanza mentors are accomplished professionals dedicated to giving back to their community.

Frequently Asked Questions: Esperanza Mentorship

Is there an in-person component to the program?

Due to COVID-19, we have paused all in-person experiences to ensure your health and safety and that of our Esperanza Scholars. For 2021, all events, orientations, and activities hosted by Esperanza will be held virtually, or until further notice. 

Normally, Esperanza hosts three annual events that mentors are highly recommended to attend. These events include an orientation, meet & greet connecting mentors and volunteers, and a career development day. We also encourage mentors to visit his or her scholar on campus at least once a year. 

We will inform the Esperanza network when we reinitiate in-person activities.

What does becoming a mentor entail?

The time commitment can vary widely across mentor relationships. However, the time involved is typically between 3-7 hours a month. Our experience has been that maintaining a relationship requires meetings at least monthly, but scholars and mentors often decide to communicate more frequently than that based upon need and availability.

1. Regular contact and periodic in-person meetings. Esperanza recognizes that each mentor-scholar relationship is unique. We encourage each pair to maintain monthly contact via phone or email. In addition, we ask that each mentor visit his or her scholar on campus at least once a year. All our scholars attend a college in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia.

2. Participation in annual events. Esperanza also hosts three annual events for its scholars that mentors are highly recommended to attend. These events include a mentor orientation, meet & greet connecting mentors and volunteers, and a career development day.

How do I become a mentor and support the scholar success program?

Click on the link, complete the application and upload your resume. For consideration, please submit your application & resume by July 15, 2021.

If selected to mentor a scholar, Esperanza will contact you regarding scholar matching, orientation, and related activities before the beginning of the Fall semester.

How long is the commitment?

The mentor-mentee commitment is for the length of time the scholar will be studying in college, generally 2-4 years. However, many mentors keep in touch with graduated scholars well beyond Esperanza, continuing to be in touch as friends, for networking, and as part of the Esperanza community.  

Do I have to have the same career field as the scholar?

It is not mandatory that the mentor be from the same or closely related professional field; Esperanza scholars are often the first in their families to seek a higher education degree and having experience navigating college is very useful for scholars. While not obligatory, it can be advantageous for context and networking purposes. 

What do I do if I can’t reach/communicate with my scholar?

Esperanza will provide you with a personal email, school email, and phone number for your scholar. If you are reaching out and not hearing back from your scholar after several attempts, please contact Paula Mulhair at paula@esperanzafund.org

What do I respond if my scholar asks me a question I don’t have an answer to?

Sometimes, scholars will have Esperanza, academic or other questions that you might not have the answer to. You can help scholars by helping them search for an answer and suggesting how to find the answer, such as consulting their college or a professor or looking for on-campus resources.

If your scholar has a programmatic question about the Esperanza Education Fund or sends you any academic paperwork (transcripts, grades, etc.), please direct the scholar to email Paula Mulhair at paula@esperanzafund.org

How do I keep informed about Esperanza’s activities?

You can visit our website, sign up for the Esperanza newsletter and follow our social media on Facebook and Twitter. You can also reach out to Paula Mulhair, Program Manager at paula@esperanzafund.org for more information at any time. 

Support Programming and Recruitment

Even if Esperanza is unable to match you with a scholar, we still welcome your support and encourage you to get involved! If you are interested in serving on the Scholar Success Committee, where we plan events like our annual career day and recruit professionals to serve as mentors, email Paula Mulhair (paula@esperanzafund.org).