Photograph of mentor Michelle Storm, Ann Bancroft, and multiple grantees at an Annual Event. Text reads "Enjoy every moment - in the moment- with your mentee and be prepared to see her rise up and shine!- Michelle Storm, ABF Mentor."

Looking to find a mentor? Check out our tips and tricks to finding the right mentor for you.

The Role of an ABF Mentor

Why mentor a girl?

Every person benefits from having a support system to encourage and inspire them to be their best self. For a young girl, this support is needed in order to help her navigate the world, unlock her confidence, and pursue her dreams. It is important for a girl to know that she is not alone.

At ABF, the role of a mentor is an integral part of a girl's grant experience. This mentor may be a teacher, coach, family friend, youth group leader, etc. Before applying for an ABF grant, a girl must self-identify a mentor (or vice versa, the mentor may identify a girl who would benefit from a grant) who will help her navigate the online grant application process, who will support her throughout her grant activity, and who will be a resource for her as she continues on in her future.

Why does ABF require a mentor for a grant applicant?

When Ann Bancroft was young, it was a teacher (mentor) that sparked her self-confidence. Ann was struggling academically in the classroom and so her teacher came up with a plan to have Ann instruct another teacher on how to ski. Through this instruction, Ann realized that even though she was not achieving as much as she wanted to in the classroom, she has another skill set and expertise (skiing) that not many other girls her age had. 

It was the guidance and encouragement from her teacher that allowed Ann to break out of her shell...and later become a polar explorer. For us here at ABF, this concept of a young girl having access to a mentor—outside of her family—who will be there to constantly support her, encourage her, and guide her through life is an invaluable experience.

Your responsibilities as a mentor for an Ann Bancroft Foundation Grant Applicant are:

During Application Process:

  • To oversee all aspects of the application process, making sure that the application is complete and questions thoughtfully answered.
  • The grant selection is based upon the girl’s answers as well as the mentor’s answers, so please make sure that both sections contain complete information and that the grant application is submitted online before the deadline.

During Grant Activity:

  • Guide your mentee during her path to completing her goals and obtaining her dreams.
  • Encourage your mentee to develop strength, a frame-of-mind, and self-confidence so she may become self-sufficient and independent.
  • Inspire her to reach her full potential and overcome her fears.
  • Advocate for your mentee to help her believe in herself.
  • Have conversations with your mentee where you both learn from one another.
  • Complete an ABF post-activity follow-up survey and to ensure that your mentee also completes her ABF post-activity follow-up survey.

Selfie of mentor Melissa and a grantee smiling. Text reads "I will continue to support and mentor my mentees as I firmly believe they are seen as the underdogs in so many aspects of their lives, but they are champions- Melissa, ABF Mentor."

are YOU eligible to MEntor a grant applicant?

  • You are not a family member (parent, guardian, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather). 
  • You are not the activity provider, nor are you employed by the activity provider. You will not derive personal financial gain in any way from the activity provider.

Photo of mentor Jessica posing with grantee. Text reads "seeing how she can channel her energy into her karate classes and watching her grow over the past two years has been great!- Jessica, ABF Mentor

Is your mentee eligible to apply for a grant?

  • She is a resident of Minnesota (exchange students do not qualify).
  • She meets the grade guidelines for the program she is applying for.
  • She has not received an Ann Bancroft Foundation grant previously.
  • She needs this grant support in order to realize her potential.

Are you now ready to mentor a girl in applying for an ABF grant? Please be sure to read the full guidelines on how to apply and become familiar with the application to ensure that the grant fits your mentee’s needs. Questions? Please contact ABF at