I am joining the QCWA just so that I can take part in this program……Dan
From Amateur Radio Newsline Report #1552, May 11, 2007:
Los Angeles, CA. (May 7, 2007): In a joint statement issued today the leadership of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, Inc. (QCWA) and Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc. (ARNewsline) have announced that QCWA has become a co-sponsor of the Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring ProgramÂ®. This is a post-licensing educational service created by ARNewsline in January 2004 and designed to pair new hams with veteran amateurs in hopes that some of the established ham operator skills can be passed down to new generations.
The program is loosely based on a similar program created by Broadway choreographer/ performer Ann Reinking through her own educational foundation, the Broadway Theater Project. This is a Florida based training program connecting students with seasoned theater professionals. If we may quote Ms. Reinking:
“Its sort of an un-written law or rule in the world of dance that you pass on what you know. This particular craft is at its best when its passed from one person’s hands to the next.”
According to ARNewsline Executive Producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, what Ann Reinking says about “dance” applies equally to our world of Amateur Radio. Maybe more so, because, for decades the knowledge and tradition of our hobby/service was passed down from seasoned operators to newcomers, one on one.
“Amateur Radio is a tremendously complex arena”, says Pasternak. “We have licensed hams who are truly experts in numerous fields ranging from bouncing radio signals off the moon, to writing complicated software which enables new forms of two-way communication. We want to take advantage of that talent pool to help educate the next generation of operators, and generations to follow.”
The success of the program has been such that the number of people seeking post licensing assistance has risen far faster than the number of available mentors. This has meant long delays for some who have placed requests. The addition of the member base of the QCWA makes available close to 10,000 highly skilled radio amateurs as potential mentors, each with a minimum of twenty-five years of experience in the hobby.
“This is a good deal for all of Amateur Radio,” says QCWA President John B. Johnston, W3BE.
Johnston, a retired career FCC employee and Dayton Radio Amateur of the Year award winner believes that it is important to keep ham radio traditions alive:
“We in the QCWA are the elder statesmen and stateswomen of Amateur Radio. We are the people who have spent a sizeable chunk of our lives learning the artistry that goes with being a radio amateur. We know how a radio works. We know how an antenna works. Most of all we know that Amateur Radio can only survive if it passes its combined knowledge on to the next generation of radio amateurs. By becoming a co-sponsor of the Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring ProgramÂ® we place the QCWA in the enviable position of being the vehicle to hand off the combined knowledge and traditions of our members to those new hams who will carry this knowledge on.”
Under the agreement, ARNewsline will continue to solicit those looking for assistance and maintain the database that matches those desiring assistance with a mentor willing to assist. Willing members of the QCWA will be asked to register by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org stating their name, call, location, contact information and area of expertise. As request for assistance are received the person asking will be referred to the person closest to him/her who holds the qualifications and knowledge to assist. John Johnston believes this to be a program that all in QCWA should be a part of:
“This is a chance for each of us to leave our own personal legacy within ham radio. If we do so, we assure the service of another generation of skilled and caring operators who will be a true asset to the service. I urge all of you to sign on.”
His words are echoed by ARNewslineâ€™s Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF. He says that while Amateur Radio includes world-class experts in a number of specialties, there are literally thousands of hams who have operating skills also worthy of passing on. For example, contesting is very popular, said Pasternak. Yet it is a tough nut to crack for a beginner.
“Contesting is also intimidating. Good contest operators often are able to contact four stations per minute for hours at a time. The great ones can do even better. How they are able to do that is a skill that should be passed on through mentoring”, Pasternak said.
Two large pools of Amateurs are needed to make mentoring work. First, there must be a group of volunteers who have a skill and are willing to share their time. The second group is made up of the large number of beginners who want to learn.
Newsline and QCWA are now seeking applicants for both groups, said Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, who oversees the databases: “Send us an e-mail if youâ€™d like to be a member of either group”, said Eisenberg. “The mentoring address is email@example.com Tell us your name, call letters, address with zipcode, phone number, when we can call.”
“The projectâ€™s namesake, Roy Neal, K6DUE, was himself a mentor. He helped strengthen ARNewsline and mentored me to become a better writer and producer,” said Pasternak. “The program is a lasting tribute to Royâ€™s efforts on behalf of all radio amateurs.”
Amateur Radio Newsline Inc. and the Quarter Century Wireless Association, Inc. are both 501 (c)(3) federally-designated not-for profit corporations. Contributions to the QCWA, and/or ARnewsline are tax deductible.