Counseling & Support: FAQs for Visible Ink Mentors

1. Who is eligible to volunteer?

Visible Ink mentors must be college graduates with experience and expertise in writing, editing, and/or teaching. Experience as a mentor is desirable but not required.

2. How do I become a Visible Ink volunteer?

Contact Judith Kelman, Visible Ink’s team leader (,, or 212-535-3985), to discuss eligibility and procedures.

3. Can I be a Visible Ink mentor if I do not live in the local area?

While most mentors live in the greater New York area, some reside elsewhere and work with their assigned participants via phone, e-mail, or web chat. Many participants live outside the local area as well.

4. How much time must I devote to the program?

We expect volunteer mentors to make a regular commitment to Visible Ink and their assigned participants. Mentors should notify the team leader about scheduling issues or changes.

Note: All mentors are required by MSK to report their hours monthly to Judith Kelman, Visible Ink’s team leader.

5. Will I get special training?

Yes. Visible Ink mentors learn how to meet the special needs of cancer patients through an initial orientation as well as ongoing interactions with the team leader and other mentors. We have a training manual and other resources for our volunteer mentors. The team leader and other professionals at MSK (e.g., social workers, program administrators, and patient representatives) are available to help with special difficulties that might arise.

6. What if I'm not comfortable coaching all kinds of writing?

You will be paired with participants based on your areas of experience and expertise.