Mentoring OUT: Preparing LGBTQ+ Graduates for an Out Corporate Life

Research shows that affirming role models or mentors for LGBTQIA youth and young adults benefit psychological health, spiritual well-being, and professional growth. Affirming, LGBTQIA-identified mentors are more than just role models – they are possibility models who open up new worlds for the youth with whom they build healthy relationships. In a world where LGBTQIA people are still more at risk for unemployment, job discrimination, and harassment than their heterosexual and/or cisgender counterparts, one positive relationship can mean a world of difference for a college student. 

Mentoring OUT is a trusting, confidential, one-on-one relationship between LGBTQIA mentoring partner. This relationship provides a venue for the mentee to explore many issues regarding being 'out' at work, being authentic in a corporate work environment, and sexual orientation or gender identity in a safe, non-judgemental, supportive, and empowering environment. 


One way that we can work together to support youth and young adults is through intentional, community-based mentoring. Community members and current college students can get involved by joining Mentoring OUT, a nine-month college student achievement and mentoring program.  Mentoring OUT’s positive, strategic, and achievement-based spirit is inspired and developed by Queen City Connects and Campus Pride.


As LGBTQ individuals meet life’s transitions and milestones, they are often faced with exploring how to integrate their LGBTQ+ identity into various new phases in life. Mentors can aid with this exploration as they can help mentees challenge internalized negative messages and misinformation proliferated about LGBTQ+ people working in Corporations, across multiple industries. Through this program, LGBTQ+ students are encouraged to develop positive LGBTQ+ identities.

Mentoring OUT is a corporate based mentoring and student development program created specifically for undergraduate and graduate students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA) and questioning.​ The program positively impacts the college experiences while mentoring students to transition to Corporate Life, personal development, and career readiness of students. Mentoring OUT empowers students to discover and strive towards their personal and professional goals with the guidance of LGBTQIA adults from the Charlotte, NC community.  The program incorporates an achievement and goal-based curriculum to ensure that time spent together is effective and meaningful. College students will be matched with a community member based on their identity-based and preference, such as identities, shared interests, experiences, and goals. 


Meidlinger, P.C. & Hope, D.A. (2014). Differentiating disclosure and concealment in measurement of outness for sexual minorities. The Nebraska Outness Scale. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1(4), 489.


Mohr, J., & Fassinger, R. (2000). Outness Inventory. Psyctests, doi: 10.1037/t07106-000


Diener, E.D., Emmons, R.A., Larsen, R.J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71-75.

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