Need Help Finding Mentors

I’m currently trying to find a mentor for my school’s robotics team in the South Bay area.

Our club supervisor is not at all involved and does not host meetings. This year, I took it upon myself to try to manage the club on my own and hoped to actually do well for once. I got my father to supervise the meetings (since the club supervisor requires that we have an adult cleared for “volunteering” by the school district-which also costs money-in order to host meetings), organized and ran the meetings on my own, and poured in hours and hours of time and effort. It was a huge failure. We lacked professional experience of any mentor, and without an adult to hold people accountable, people weren’t responsible about their work, and getting anything done took absurd amounts of time to get done. We didn’t end up to going to a single of the many competitions we registered for.

Our group is actually well experienced and enthusiastic, and we are all core members of our FRC team (which is not run by/at our school). It just seems that we need a professional adult that knows what they are doing to help manage everything. I have talked to my supervisor and he is adamantly against putting in any time into the program, and doesn’t think it will be a worthwhile investment for him. Especially considering the teachers here are kind of going on strike, I don’t have much of an argument.

If anyone is willing to invest in my team or has any suggestions or resources I can look into, please let me know! We are Mira Costa High School, located in Manhattan Beach. Thanks so much, VEXforum!


You have so many qualified mentors if you are in the South Bay. You can throw a rock and hit about ten. Have you thought about approaching some of the local aerospace firms to see if they have someone that can mentor? Or maybe you have a neighbor or friend’s parent that is involved in high tech. As opposed to someone that lives in a sparsely populated, rural community, you have tons of potential opportunities.

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You’re totally right.
I suppose what I’m really asking is, how do I approach them?
Most of them that I’ve looked at make it exceedingly difficult to find a contact that isn’t in regards to business (employment/consulting/buying/etc.)
And in any case, would I just shoot them an email asking them if they have any employees interested in such an endeavor? I imagine most firms would just throw out the email, and not bring it up to their employees. Would it make more sense to go visit in person?

Sorry if my questions seem trivial or obvious, as I’ve never really done this before.

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No. I think they are good questions. I will think about it and provide some suggestions.


Unless someone is familiar with what you are doing, they may “not have time to talk to you”. I would suggest you create some form of marketing material with pictures and a brief writeup and print a few copies to take with you. This way, instead of just talking to someone, you have some pictures and a documents that help explain what you are doing, why you do it, the benefits for the students, and most importantly, the benefits that being a sponsor and/or mentor would provide.


That’s a great idea!
So, you recommend I go and physically visit some engineering firms rather than ask through email?

I would. Maybe come in with the intent to talk to them, but have a fallback to make an appointment.

You could bring a laptop to show some competitions and probably a worlds level video, or even the VEX promotional videos. Those can be inspiring.

If its done after the game reveal, show the new game too.

Oh, and bring YOUR excitement. Obviously you have a passion for this or you wouldn’t be doing it. Make sure that shows.

And don’t forget the stats about Vex - largest robotics program, numbrs of teams across the globe, inclusive nature, girl powered initiatve, etc.