Sphere College Project

A New World of Learning

The Work of Mentorship

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Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” So how do we propose to change the world through education? Well, as I share with people, Sphere is a 3-Step Program: 1. Identify your passion, or goal, 2. Acquire the tools to do it, and 3. Put your newfound skills to test in the real world.

So here we are already knee deep in learning…about the construction contracting business, about fundraising, about Asheville’s African-American community, and about City and County structures and politics, to name a few. And that’s just us; our contractors are up to their own learning! However, Dee has already helped one contractor submit his paperwork. Amazing…in less than two weeks, we have been able to accomplish this, with one group meeting, and a little bit of mentorship.

From time to time, one of the objections we hear in our travels is that mentorship is expensive. This is because a lot of mentorship is one-on- one, mentor to mentee. Well, I’ve always wondered what is more expensive – spending the hours to assist someone in an important next step in their business or life, or allowing them to stagnate, possibly continuing to exist on public assistance.

There’s no doubt in my mind what is best, and if you could see the looks on the faces of the people we are meeting with, you would have no doubt either. They are excited, even thrilled, and perhaps a little nervous. But overall, they are grateful because they see that through our help there will very soon yield more opportunity for them and others in the community.

So, if we don’t stand for the right for any person who wants it to have access to the education that will help them learn and grow, and better their position in life, then how do we imagine we will create a thriving nation? Does it make sense for a nation that wants to be “the best” to not provide the “best” education, for EVERYONE? Clearly it doesn’t, and this is why I created Sphere. We simply cannot be the best if we are not willing to help every person be their best.

That’s what mentorship can do, and quickly. So let’s get to it.



Author: Richard Liston

Musician, computer scientist, educator. I'm creating a new educational environment for adults.

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