USPTA Career and Leader Mentoring Program began in 2018, and we have had over 400 pros participate in the program. Whether you are a Master Pro with years of experience and a unique perspective to share with a younger pro as a Mentor or looking to enhance your career or build new skills by applying to be a Mentee, the Career and Leader Mentoring Program will benefit you.
As a USPTA Southern board member, Kevin Theos created and launched the program for the Southern division. It was so successful that USPTA President Gary Trost supported its expansion to a national program. Having developed a working relationship on the Southern division program with Mitch White, a former pro and successful entrepreneur, he enlisted Mitch's help. Together, they created and launched what is now known as the USPTA Career and Leader Mentoring program.
"To me, mentoring isn't about just telling someone what or how to do something, it is about listening, sharing, and learning from each other. It has to be a two-way street to build a trusting, supportive relationship. Being a mentor with USPTA has been a great experience…working with newer pros, sharing my experience and getting a fresh perspective from those I have mentored. Throughout my career I've had several mentors that really had an impact, and if I can be that person for someone else and give back the same way, it's a win-win." – Cari Buck, USPTA Elite Pro and Mentor
"The mentor program was a great experience for both Mentor and Mentee. It was amazing to see the drive, passion, and inspiration that helped motivate both parties to improve and try new things outside their comfort zone. As a mentor, getting to know another USPTA professional was a positive way to network, share ideas and knowledge, and to have an impact on developing a professional's career." – Tim Fitzgerald, USPTA Elite Pro, and Mentor
"I was fortunate enough to have Cari Buck as my Mentor during an incredibly challenging year. She was an incredible lady to learn from in so many ways, and she and I leaned on each other during a transitional year for both of us. Having someone like Cari to bounce ideas off of and who understood the career path that I was riding in this last year was something I will never forget and never be able to fully thank her for. I've made tremendous strides in my career, and I owe her a huge thank you for all the support and care she provided.
The mentorship program through the USPTA is an amazing project and one that I'd recommend to ANY pro who is looking to make more of an impact in their work. The ways that Cari helped me, and just the consistency of having a year-long mentor is something I have so much gratitude for. I look forward to the day that I can apply to be the Mentor, and be able to give back to the program to help another pro. Thank you for selecting me to be a part of this unique program. It's been a huge benefit to my tennis career." – Jennifer Azevedo, USPTA Professional and Mentee
"I went into the program not knowing what to expect. I am a young pro and I wanted to making connections within the industry. I got much more than that. Not only was I able to make great connections but I was able to expand my resume and grow as a young professional. Every time I talked to my Mentor, I ended the call feeling motivated to learn and grow in every way possible. He pushed me to create goals for myself professionally, recreationally, and financially. Any questions and concerns I brought to him he was able to help resolve. And even though my time in the program has come to an end, he will always be just a call away and continues to check in and see how my goals are coming. I cannot recommend this program enough; it is truly something that has helped to lead me in the right direction!" – Allison Himes, USPTA Professional and Mentee
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- Is a 1-year commitment with monthly communication and calls quarterly at a minimum or more frequently as needed between the Mentor and the Mentee
- Is geared toward enhancing the Mentee's resume and adding or improving skills that the Mentee can apply towards enhancing their career
- Includes an application process to be accepted for limited spots to be a Mentor or Mentee
- Requires engagement and achieving results
- Includes completion of progress forms and periodic calls from the Career and Leader Mentoring program committee members to continually improve the program
- Counts for educational credit at the completion of the program
- Provides a Mentoring template, to be used as Mentor and Mentee best see fit, for their own personal working relationship during the program
- Mentees will come away with new and/or improved skillsets and will have a clearer understanding of their career goals, along with the beginning of a roadmap on how to achieve those goals
- Mentors leave feeling fulfilled and satisfied that they have given helpful guidance and/or training to a pro who is looking to further their career
For more information, contact Kevin Theos at firstname.lastname@example.org