Mentoring Mentoring, Achieving, Growing

Hennepin Connections

A Mentoring Program with Minneapolis College Students

The Hennepin Connections Mentorship Program provides mentors to students who have experienced homelessness or poverty, in order to provide support and encouragement to reach personal, academic, and career goals. The Basilica SVdP Mentoring Program works with Minneapolis Community & Technical College.

The goal of Hennepin Connections is:

  • To expand student’s network for career development
  • To expand student’s opportunities for success
  • To provide scholarship at program completion

Mentoring is a structured, one-to-one relationship that focuses on the needs of mentored participants. Mentoring:

  • Fosters caring and supportive relationships
  • Encourages individuals to develop to their fullest potential
  • Helps an individual to develop his or her own vision for the future
  • Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships

Mentoring is not a one-size fits all proposition.

  • Every person who would benefit from a mentoring relationship has individual needs. Effective mentoring programs offer enough flexibility to help meet each mentee’s personal needs yet allow mentoring relationships to flourish within a safe structure.

Student Application



Qualities of Strong Student Applicants include:

  • Students actively engaged in class, enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits at beginning of the year.
  • Students who show a commitment and desire to move forward in life.
  • Students who can set, share, and implement educational and career goals.

Student Application Process:

Any Minneapolis College Student interested in joining the Hennepin Connections Mentoring Program should begin by completing the Student Application at the top of this page.

Student Applicant Requirements:

  1. Experience with homelessness and/or poverty.
  2. Completed a minimum of 1 semester at Minneapolis College.
  3. 2.0 GPA or higher in their most recent semester.
  4. Enrolled at Minneapolis College during the 2024 fall semester for a minimum of 6 credits.
  5. No current chemical dependency issues with drugs or alcohol.

Students who successfully complete the program will receive an award in the amount of $1,500.00.

Student Program Expectations:

  1. Collaborate with their mentor to set educational and career goals.
  2. Connect with their mentor a minimum of once a week throughout the duration of the program.
  3. Meet with their mentor in person at least 14 times (about twice a month)
  4. Participate in 3 program-wide meetings at Minneapolis College that include food, social time, and specified topics.

Becoming a Hennepin Connections Mentor

The process of orientation, training, and support for becoming a Hennepin Connections mentor includes:

  • One-on-one interview with Basilica staff
  • Completion of background check and Virtus Training
  • Participation in a Poverty Simulation Experience
  • Participation in training and orientation sessions
  • Participation in three large-group sessions throughout the school year, with all mentors and all students
  • Commitment to connect with student every week, at least two times a month in person
  • Participation in Mentor Reflection Meetings three times throughout the school year

Overall Program Description:

  1. This program is designed to focus on students who have, or have had, experiences of homelessness or poverty.
  2. This program is designed to help Minneapolis College Students fulfill their educational goals, to enable them to successfully achieve their career goals.
  3. This program is not a religious program. While the mentors are from The Basilica, the student and mentor will connect on issues relevant to the student.
  4. This program is inclusive of all students’ backgrounds and faith affiliations.
  5. The Student will be matched with a Basilica Mentor by the faculty and staff of MCTC.
  6. The mentoring partnership will last for one full school year at MCTC, from Fall through Spring semester.
  7. The mentoring partnership will be based on shared interests, career similarities, or other goal orientation similarities.
  8. The student will guide the agenda of the meetings.


If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please e-mail Janice to set up a time to discuss further and receive the Mentor Application.

For information on the Prisoners or Patients Ministry and The Basilica Re-entry Mentor Program, click here.

MCTC Mentor Visit Record