SL Volunteer Mentor Buddies
Along with free form volunteering to help the Second Life community at your leisure, Mentor Buddies are well-versed, seasoned volunteers within the group who are willing to be contacted directly by other volunteers. This is entirely an opt-in role and may bear extra responsibility, but for many of you who already want to help new volunteers get their feet wet, this is the directory you have been looking to join for a while now.
Purposes for new volunteers to contact Mentor Buddies
- Advice on how, where, and when to volunteer.
- Advice on where to direct a resident concern or how to solve a resident issue.
- Advice on how to respond to unexpected circumstances on the grid, such as abuse related concerns.
- To request a tour of volunteering hot spots, show how volunteering may be done in a particular region or setting.
How New Volunteers May Find a Mentor Buddy
In short: Edit>Groups>Second Life Mentor>Info>Members & Roles>Members/Roles
(At the top task bar within Second Life, choose Edit > Groups. Highlight the Second Life Mentors group, and click the Info button on the right hand side. Choose the Members & Roles tab next to the General tab along the top of the window. A list of Mentors Online can be filtered through the Members tab, and a list of Mentor Buddies can be found in the Roles tab. We will consider suggestions on how to make this process easier if you have some! This is a work in progress.)
- Remember, if you are contacting a Mentor Buddy and the one you reach is busy, please respect the privacy of the Mentor Buddy. While he or she did opt into this Second Life Mentor role, all volunteers are free to enjoy a Second Life experience outside the realm of volunteering. As such, you may be asked to contact another Mentor Buddy, or may be told simply that the Mentor Buddy is busy and may need to address your concern at a later time. Still, Mentor Buddies are enthusiastic to reach out when they can. Please be sure to thank them for their assistance!
Finer Points on a Mentor Buddy's Responsibility
Ability to answer these questions and requests is at the discretion of the Mentor Buddy. If you, as a Mentor Buddy, are occupied or unavailable to help when contacted, THIS IS OKAY. However, please make it your responsibility to communicate your availability to the volunteer who is looking to you for help, and/or request that they speak to another Mentor Buddy if that is needed. During volunteer orientation, we will convey as best as possible that the Mentor Buddy role is opt-in and that Mentor Buddies may not be available upon request. We want the Mentor Buddy role to be as pain free as possible, but also note that the added responsibility is something that must be handled with great care.
Requirements for Maintaining Mentor Buddy Status
The primary purpose of the Mentor Buddy system is to help new volunteers get acquainted with the volunteer program by showing them the ropes. As such, we ask that Mentor Buddies be willing to say "Hello!" at one  orientation session for new volunteers and let the attendees of the orientation know that for that particular group you are willing to take questions from them during their first month of volunteering. In order for this to work, VTeam members who are hosting orientation sessions may review the list of online "Mentor Buddies" prior to an orientation session and ask one Mentor Buddy to attend the session. Because Second Life Volunteers are not required to volunteer at any set time, it is absolutely possible to defer the request to attend the session at a later date. We will maintain a list of those who have spoken and mark whether or not you would like to attend more than one of these orientation sessions.
Initial sign up for this position will not require that you speak in front of the orientation attendees. However, we ask that to secure this position over time that you do attend one session to represent yourself as a Mentor Buddy. No "cut off" date or deadline is set presently for speaking at these orientation sessions, and should one be created, due notice will be given to those who wish to maintain their status as Mentor Buddy.
How to Become a Mentor Buddy
If you would like to sign up to be a part of this program, please click the survey link below and fill out a short form indicating your interest in the role:
How to Voluntarily Exit this Role
Leaving the Mentor Buddy role behind and returning to the Everybody role can be accomplished by speaking to a VTeam member during one of their office hours, found here: Volunteer Specialist Office Hours