Mentorship Program

Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. Mentors have helped shape the lives of each new generation of leaders for as long as there have been new generations of leaders. They have helped pass on their knowledge and allowed a new generation to build on their successes and failures.

Alachua County Emerging Leaders (ACEL) has launched its second annual mentorship program to connect existing leaders to emerging leaders in Alachua County. As an initiative of the ACEL Professional Development Committee, the program was designed by a team that has worked on mentorship programs across the United States, utilizing best practices and structures from hundreds of mentorship programs.


During the early years of your career it can be daunting to consider the dizzying number of directions you could go and the decisions you will have to make. You may wonder where to focus your professional development or what skills you will need in the future. What are you best at? How can you balance your personal life with your professional life? The simple act of sitting with someone who has tread that course is invaluable for young professionals as they begin that journey.

Many of the best mentorship programs use flexible, customizable structures to guide mentees' and mentors' time together. Our team has created a lean but focused program with an "a la carte" curriculum for you and your mentor or mentee to decide what works best for you.

Program Structure

The process is simple. Mentors and mentees meet for a mixer to allow everyone to mingle and get to know one another. Afterward, they will be paired with their mentor through a mentor selection process. Once matched, each mentor-mentee pair will meet once a month on their own for six months, capped off with a final event in February.

The program is limited to 15 pairs. Applications are closed for this year, but will be taken again next year.


Have questions? Interested in becoming a mentor? Email Mentorship Coordinator Chipper Flaniken at or Professional Development Committee Chair Ashley Owens at

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