When you were young, did you know how to study for a test or make plans for college? Do you remember wanting your first car or looking for a part-time job?
Simple things that may seem easy or straightforward to you now may be a complete mystery to a young person.
1 in 3 young people will grow up without having a mentor
– either through a formal mentoring program or informally through a family friend or community member – leaving them disconnected from a critical resource to help with these very things.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD MENTOR
Before becoming a mentor, here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring. Most of us have had a teacher, supervisor, or coach who has been a mentor to us and made a positive difference in our lives. Those people wore many hats, acting as delegators, role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. Mentors assume these different roles during the course of a relationship, and share some basic qualities:
A sincere desire to be involved with a young person
Respect for young people
Active listening skills
Ability to see solutions and opportunities
Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees, and that mentoring has enabled them to:
Achieve personal growth and learn more about themselves
Improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference
Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity
Feel more productive and have a better attitude at work
Enhance their relationships with their own children
Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.
Ready to be a part of our Mentorship Program? Visit our mentorship page to learn more.