Mentors of the Blind Leaders Development Program have an opportunity to invest in an emerging blind leader by volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge, wisdom and expertise. Mentors will have an opportunity to develop their crucial conversation skills, expand their networks, and engage in AFB’s systems change initiatives.

Mentor Application Form

What's Included

  • Access to the one-day AFB Blind Leaders Development Program mentor training event in Arlington, VA
  • Round-trip travel, hotel, and meals during the mentor training event
  • Program kick-off dinner event with AFB senior leadership, board members, program participants, and other influencers in the blindness field
  • A copy of The Leadership Challenge book
  • A unique opportunity to invest in the development of an emerging leader who is blind or visually imapired
  • Access to an exclusive LinkedIn group for program alumni and mentors

Mentor Selection Criteria

Our hope is to select a diverse group of professional and open leaders who are blind or visually impaired to mentor participants in this program. Ideal mentor candidates will demonstrate the following:

Competence, Experience, and Professionalism

Ideal candidates have at least eight years of leadership experience and demonstrate a high level of professionalism. These candidates are knowledgeable about leadership qualities and have previous experience and success in mentoring. Please note, previous mentoring experience is not a requirement, but is preferred.

Openness and Willingness to Share Ideas and Insights

Ideal candidates demonstrate a willingness to listen, share about their life experiences, and assist with problem-solving. These candidates demonstrate an openness to new ideas and perspectives.

Potential and Commitment to Be a Productive Program Mentor

Ideal candidates will commit to the time and effort required to be a successful mentor. These candidates will engage in open communication with their assigned participants and AFB staff.

Mentor Commitments

Mentors of the Blind Leaders Development Program will be expected to commit to:

  • Attend the one-day Blind Leaders Development Mentor Training session and program kick-off dinner in Arlington, VA, in March 2020 (arranged for by AFB)
  • Actively listen to and provide honest and direct communication with their assigned program participants
  • Read The Leadership Challenge book (provided by AFB)
  • Work with program participants to put at least three behavior patterns discussed during the program into practice
  • Read all advance materials and prepare for all six mentoring meetings
  • Submit evaluation forms and communicate openly with AFB staff
  • Participate in all follow-up surveys for at least three years (representing no more than one hour of time per year)

Mentor Application Tips

In addition to the recommendations below, we encourage you to review the Mentor Applicant Scoring Rubric (downloadable Word file) to familiarize yourself with how applications will be evaluated.

You will be asked to provide a resume, letter of recommendation from someone you have mentored (or a colleague if you have not previously mentored someone), and answer four essay questions (one of these essays is optional).


Please be sure your resume reflects any leadership roles and/or level of responsibility you have achieved. Please be sure that your years of professional experience are reflected in your resume as well.

Letter of Recommendation

We encourage you to share the questions listed below as prompts to the individual writing your letter of recommendation:

  • Why do you think the applicant has the potential to be a productive and effective mentor? Please provide concrete examples if possible.
  • What qualities do you think make the applicant a good mentor candidate for this program (for example openness, a willingness to share ideas, insights, and experiences, or a desire to assist in problem-solving)?

Essay Questions

We recommend drafting your responses to the following essay questions in a word processing program, then copying your answers into the online application. Please note, as is reflected in the scoring rubric linked above, your essay responses will be evaluated on their demonstration of your knowledge and application of mentoring practices.

  1. Please describe a meaningful experience in which you mentored someone. Was it successful?
  2. What do you think is required to ensure a successful mentoring relationship and outcome? Why?
  3. Have you ever given someone “tough love” (open, honest, and potentially difficult to hear feedback)? How did you approach this situation?
  4. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know about you?