By Jeannette Simon, Director Volunteer & Mentoring Services
Mentors are phenomenal assets in the lives of young people.
Regardless of socio-economic background, all youth have needs and can benefit from having a mentor. Simply put, a mentor is a wise and trusted friend —someone who knows just a little more than you, who can guide you in the right direction.
While parents are the most important role models and providers to their children, mentors stand in the gap when parents are overworked, preoccupied or lack the resources to ensure that children are headed down the right paths.
As an additional level of support, mentors are emotionally involved, yet can remain unbiased. When challenges arise, mentors have the capacity to approach them in ways that the parent may not see.
Operating inside of the school, mentors are advocates. They communicate with teachers and administrators about academic and social discrepancies that may interrupt a child’s educational process. They devise solutions to keep their mentees afloat in challenging learning environments. They measure their improvement and troubleshoot their setbacks.
Outside of school, mentors are a gateway to opportunity. In particular, many underserved youth feel as though they are bound by the borders of their neighborhoods, unaware that there is a larger world to be explored. Mentors provide the avenue for exploration. They take them beyond their neighborhood lines and into places that can expound their outlook on life.
Mentors are connectors. They have access to colleagues, classmates and leaders who can widen the circle of positive influence for youth. Mentors have links to potentially provide career, educational and social development catered to the needs of their mentee.
Mentors are encouragers. Many children don’t understand that they have every right to be anything they desire in life and they were put here to make a difference — to evoke change, to challenge inconsistencies in their communities and the larger world. Mentors promote the expanded thinking necessary for their mentees to be great.
Interested in becoming a mentor? Email email@example.com to get started today.