Project Caua is very reliant on the use of local mentors and mentor organizations, but often the mentors ask “why should I be involved with Project Caua?”
First of all, as a professional in business, you understand how to set up and be successful in a business. Often the young student that wants to be a Project Caua Professional (PCP) is very technically astute and knowledgeable, but has never run a business or ever tried to “sell themselves”. Many may not even realize the value of the skills they have, something you learned how to do long ago. This is your chance to “give back” to the people that helped you with your first chance in business.
You will be working either with a small group of PCPs or perhaps one-on-one. You will have the satisfaction of seeing the young person grow in both knowledge and confidence.
If you are in the computer field you may find that a PCP would make a good employee for your company after they finish with the program. Or if you run a computer support business you may find that a PCP could act as an onsite, first line of support for some of your customers, saving your technical team from having to get in a car and drive across the town or city to help a customer.
Being a mentor for a PCP does not have to take a lot of time. Training of a PCP who is knowledgeable about computers (as most are) typically takes less than an eight hour day, and can be broken over two or three days. It is easily done in a weekend.
The biggest part of being a mentor is to help the PCP make their first “sale”, sign their first contract. After that many PCPs go on by themselves, only asking advice every once in a while. Often these successful PCPs become mentors to the next people coming into the program.
Being a mentor to a PCP is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways that you can give back to your community and to your profession.
By training more PCPs to give support to small businesses, you help train the systems administrators and programmers of the future that help build the technical environment around you.