How to find programming mentor?
I've been teaching myself basic programming (I can drink 99 bottles of beer with Ruby pretty fast) and I have a decent amount of experience working with simple web servers and deploying PHP based applications (Wordpress or Joomla anyone). I must say I'm quite excited to be learning and developing in the theoretical sense but wouldn't it be great to solve a real-world problem?
Well, I've been helping out a non-profit with some of their web management and have come across a real-world problem that is wildly tedious created by the previous tech volunteer. It involves duplicating 40 HTML files and 40 XML files and editing the contents in a repetitive format. AWESOME RIGHT!? I see an opportunity to make the world a better place by using my new learned skills. I know I can solve it with a script or Ruby application, but the opportunity is not to just build something that makes the computer work better, but the learn better myself. I know if I had the oversight of a mentor or experienced programmer to point out the mistakes or missed opportunities it would turn this golden learning opportunity into platinum. So does the programming community encourage mentoring via experience? Or are my only options: RTFM, pay a pro, or "just figure it out a hopefully it doesn't suck, newb."
So tell me how does a beginner programmer find a mentor for learning from doing?