Be a DO-IT Mentor!

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) electronic mentoring community connects Mentors with high school and college students with disabilities as they transition to college and careers. DO-IT Mentors are college students, postsecondary faculty, and professionals in a variety of challenging academic and career fields. Many of the Mentors have disabilities themselves. As a Mentor, you can inspire and facilitate personal, academic, and professional achievements.

Do you have what it takes to be a DO-IT Mentor?

The relationships you develop with your protégés become channels for the passage of information, advice, challenges, opportunities, and support. DO-IT Mentors offer protégés:

  • Information
    Mentors share their knowledge, experiences, and wisdom.
  • Contacts
    Mentors provide valuable opportunities by facilitating academic, career, and personal contacts.
  • Challenges
    Mentors stimulate curiosity and build confidence by presenting new ideas, opportunities, and challenges.
  • Support
    Mentors encourage growth and achievement by providing an open and supportive environment.
  • Goal Setting
    Mentors help protégés discover talents and interests and define and attain their goals.
  • Advice
    Mentors guide protégés in reaching academic, career, and personal goals.
  • Role Models
    By sharing stories of achievement with protégés, Mentors can become role models.

Communicating with protégés

Mentors and protégés communicate primarily over email, thereby eliminating challenges imposed by time, distance, and disability that are characteristic of in-person mentoring. Frequent email communication combined with personal contact at DO-IT sponsored events helps protégés achieve goals and build confiedence.

DO-IT Mentors are subscribed to several electronic discussion lists. These lists include:

  • doitsem—A public forum to discuss STEM issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities.
  • doitchat—A forum where DO-IT protégés and Mentors interact.
  • mentors—A discussion list for Mentors.
  • disability-specific lists—Where Mentors and protégés each participate in one of five special interest groups to discuss issues related to a specific disability area.

For more information about DO-IT’s mentoring community, consult Opening Doors: Mentoring on the Internet at

AccessSTEM Mentoring Teams

As part of a special project, DO-IT is inviting Mentors with academic or professional backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to participate in AccessSTEM mentoring teams. This effort is part of DO-IT’s Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (award #HRD-0227995 and #HRD-0833504). Each mentoring team links students together with Mentors who are studying, teaching, and working in a STEM area similar to those the protégé is interested in pursuing. These Mentors participate on the AccessSTEM, mentors, and doitsem discussion lists; they have the option of joining doitchat and disability-specific lists.

Applying to become a Mentor

You may complete and submit the DO-IT Mentor Application online, or by submitting the following form by postal mail, fax, or email.

Because safety is of particular concern for young people using the Internet, this position requires completion of a criminal history background check. All Mentor candidates are asked to complete and return the University of Washington Conviction Criminal History Information form. This form will be mailed to you once we receive your completed application.

About DO-IT

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #HRD-0227995 and #HRD-0833504. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

For further information, to be placed on the DO-IT mailing list, request materials in alternate format, or to make comments or suggestions about DO-IT publications or web pages, contact:

University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (toll free voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (FAX)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY, Spokane)
Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2003, University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.