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Park Mentoring Program Enters Second Year

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avatar Park Mentoring Program Enters Second Year
April 22, 2014 03:15PM
Yosemite National Park recently kicked off the second year of its mentorship program with 22 participants representing all eight park divisions.

Colleen Osborne, Intermountain Region’s training manager, facilitated the program orientation with the support of Jana Friesen McCabe from the park’s public involvement and outreach office.

The Yosemite mentoring program was developed in response to a 2012 cultural value survey of NPS employees at the park, where respondents identified coaching and mentoring as an extremely valuable aspect of park culture. The mentor program was subsequently identified as a park priority in Yosemite’s 2020 strategic vision, as an important step towards employee development and improved morale and enrichment, and as a key component of its leadership campus.

Common development goals identified by Yosemite mentees include learning management and leadership skills, team building, public speaking, achieving work/life balance, time management, supervisorial skills, and more technical and job-specific skills.

According to Osborne, Yosemite’s mentoring program is unique in the NPS due to the park’s large and diverse workforce and the ability for mentors and mentees to work closely and on the ground together. Her work with other mentor programs in the region often involves mentors and mentees who work in different parks.

The first group of mentors and mentees will complete their program in July. Many of the relationships established in the program will continue in a more informal manner and will have served as important first steps towards identifying and achieving development goals as well as invaluable networking opportunities.

According to Tom Medema, a mentor and Yosemite’s chief of interpretation and education, the benefits go both ways. Medema views mentorship as “a mutual exchange of ideas between colleagues…and an opportunity for both individuals to grow and reach their potential by enhancing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and knowledge base.”
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