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1 byte added, 12:08, 28 March 2013
A mentor is chosen for his abilities and his willingness to deal with a student - the community as a whole is always behind a mentor and we will assign willing backup mentors (we have no dearth of them). We will choose a backup mentor, just in case.
Furthermore, we encourage students to interact with the whole community, and ask the whole community for help (i.e., on the IRC channel or on the mailing list) if they have a problem, rather than asking just one person. This will help them to become better members of the community and will also make it easier for the whole community to monitor their progress. Hopefully, in the unlikely case that a mentor disappears or even if he she has to become less available for a little while, it will not be a huge issue for this reason.
==What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before and during the program?==