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3M Mentors Receive Top Honors During National Mentoring Month

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:26 pm CST

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Keith_Graupmann_1_BestPrep_500x333_Cropped.jpgAccording to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, nine million young people grow up without having a mentor outside their family. By getting involved as mentors, 3M employees are helping make a difference for the next generation of scientists, innovators and business leaders. 

Rooted in a strong culture of mentoring within 3M, many 3M volunteers also extend this spirit of mentorship into the community. Every year, hundreds of 3Mers mentor young people through organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, BestPrep, FIRST® and scouting, as well as through 3M programs including the 3M Visiting Wizards and 3M STEP (Science Training Encouragement Program).


As part of National Mentoring Month this January, Minnesota-based mentoring organization, BestPrep​, honors their most involved mentors of all time. Among the many partner companies and volunteers from across the Twin Cities, their top 10 mentors share something in common – they’re all from 3M! These volunteer mentors include:

  • Kim Durand Ask, global segment marketing manager
  • Jim Dobbs, senior physicist specialist
  • Keith Graupmann, senior principal project engineer
  • Kevin Green, intellectual property liaison
  • Taylor Harper, manager strategy and business development
  • Bryan Hunt, scientist
  • Justin Pettinelli, Lean Six Sigma black belt
  • Scott Snavely, manufacturing manager
  • Valerie Young, recently retired 3Mer

​These 3M volunteers participate in BestPrep’s E-Mentors program, where they exchange weekly emails with a local high school junior and answer the students’ questions about college- and career-related topics. As regular E-Mentors, together the 10 3M volunteers have connected with 284 mentees to date – averaging about 28 connections each!

So, what keeps these mentors coming back to the program year after year? Here’s what some of 3M’s dedicated volunteers enjoy most about mentoring. 

Kevin Green: I love hearing that the students have tried new things and are excited about the steps they need to take for their future. I recall a student telling me how excited he was after a college visit. This was new for him as he would be the first in his family to go to college. Being one of the many people helping these kids grow and plan for their future makes me feel good. I also love learning from the students and sharing experiences between different generations.

Kim Durand Ask: Answering my mentees’ questions each week and sharing my business/career journey (which had twists and turns) opens their eyes to different possibilities. Each of my mentees has been unique, and I am always humbled by the educational goals they have set for themselves, either big or little, as they think about their futures.​

Keith Graupmann: A lot of the students I’ve mentored hope to become the first person in their family to go to college. Without someone at home to talk ​to who’s been there, they are left with many unanswered questions. By sharing my journey, I try to help them connect the dots between their interests and favorite classes, to possible careers, to picking a major and a college, to internships, and finally to graduation and interviewing for a job. Once they see an example of how to get to the end, they can shift their focus from the “scary unknown” to “OK, I can do this. Let’s get started!”​

Visit MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to learn more about National Mentoring Month and how to get involved as a youth mentor.

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