I didn’t participate in the program. But I’ve effectively mentored a dozen or so furry writers over the past decade and a half. So I feel I can speak with at least some limited degree of authority.
It needs to be made clear ahead of time to the mentee that the mentor is doing them a favor our of the sheer goodness of their heart. Also, they need to know that Mentors have many different styles. For example, I employ a “filtering” process. Often not having written submissions to look at, what I’ve done in the past is to request 2-3 paragraphs of work. It’s amazing how much can be learned about an author’s grammatical and stylistic skills in 2-3 paragraphs. If the author refuses to send me such a small sample, they’re filtered out for assuming they know more about mentoring/writing than I do (perhaps it’s true), and for being unlikely to accept any critiques I might offer to give even if I tried. If they accept my conditions I go over the paragraphs, focusing on finding what I consider the three biggest problems and the two biggest strengths. (If there’s ten problems there’s no point in hitting the author with all of them at once-- three at a time is usually shocking enough to them.) I praise one of the strengths to open my reply, speak about the three weaknesses at length including when possible referring them to more detailed articles about writing that I and numerous others have web-posted over the years with just this very purpose in mind so that we don’t have to repeat the same three page explanation over and over and over. Then I close the letter praising the other previously-identified strength. (If I can’t find two strengths, very gentle and loving filtering is again applied-- this is not someone I can help.) I also try to socialize in my contacts, as the greatest gain I can possibly make is a new friend and I cherish those enormously. I’ve made several close ones this way.
At any rate, at a certain point when I feel that I’m not being of any further help I back slowly away. If the mentoree hasn’t learned to avoid repeated words in a paragraph or that “they’re” is not the possessive form of “they” after a certain period of time, then I’m clearly not the one who’s going to teach them the lesson and all that’s going result from continuing efforts is pain. I used to mentor people for years at a time. Now I’ve learned how to teach what little I know in a few months, as a rule. Though, as I said, it’s best when the friendships go on forever.
I try never to mentor more than one individual at a time, and I take a couple months off in-between to rebuild my enthusiasm reservoir. Then I’ll take on another. If someone has some sort of an “emergency”, however, I’ll take on a second for a short time. I don’t like it, however. (Example-- former mentee has sold their first story. “Will you help me edit it?” Of course I will, so long as it’s not two hundred pages and I’m not past-due on a deadline of my own! That kind of situation can have me working with two at once. But again, I prefer very much not to.)
So, that’s the process that’s usually worked for me. I feel like a real asshole when I “filter”, but in the long term I’ve learned that it’s best for all involved. You can’t get anywhere if the chemistry isn’t right, and Bad Feelings often ensue when the effort is made regardless. I try very hard not to make it seem personal when I turn someone down, because it’s not.
Hope this blueprint helps in making your decision.