The fifth annual Mentorship Program hosted by the Young Planners Group of the San Diego Section of the American Planning Association wrapped up last week with the Milestone Celebration. The Celebration was a fun event to highlight the group’s accomplishments and hear what each team took away from the program. The Mentor and Protégé of the Year Awards were also announced at the event. Congratulations to our winners!

  • Mentor of the Year: Keryna Johnson
  • Protégé of the Year: Mimi Morisaki
  • Program MVP: Sohrab Rashid

This year we welcomed our largest group to date with over 75 participants that made up 19 groups. Unlike other traditional one-on-one mentorship programs, the SDAPA YPG Program creates a team environment with each mentorship pod comprised of 3-5 members. Generally each group contains one (1) Senior-level Planner; one (1) Associate or Assistant-level Planner; and 2-3 Protégés.

The mission of the Mentorship Program is to foster an exchange of professional expertise and innovative planning practice in an effort to enhance both personal and professional skills while creating mutually beneficial relationships and friendships between students, young planning professionals and experienced planning professionals in the industry.

The program launched at the Kick-Off Orientation in October where all Mentorship Program Participants met their pods and started work on their Professional Growth Plans (PGP). The PGP is intended to allow each protégé to set professional goals, which they can then track through the Program. Each team committed to holding three (3) one-to-one or team meetings throughout the program cycle, which ran from October through April.

In addition to team meetings, multiple Program events were hosted including:  2 Lunch & Learns, a Mid-Cycle Social, and Milestone Celebration. The Lunch & Learns hosted by Environmental Health Coalition and Rick Engineering offered young planners an opportunity to see a planning firm in action and hear about various planning topics from planners in those fields.

Thank you to all the mentorship participants for making this another successful program cycle!