Why Mentoring our Youth Matters.
Who has had a lasting impact in your life?
Who do you credit with helping you get to where you are today?
Maybe it was a teacher, an older cousin, a coach, a neighbor, a friend, or an extended family member.
For me, it was a teacher that believed in me. She knew that I would make a difference and she pushed me to become a better person. I always looked for her approval and I still think to my self, ” Would Mrs. D approve?” I can still, to this day, hear her saying, “Naomi, when you make decisions, make sure that you are using your head.”
This, my friends, is the power of mentor. A year ago, I started in the Teammates program at our school and I am thankful that I did. A while back, I had a conversation with a friend. I was explaining to her that I loved being a mentor. “You need to share your story,” she said.
This post has everything that I think you need to know about being a mentor. So without further ado……….
Here are my two cents about being a mentor and why it matters.
The Impact that Mentoring can do.
Have you ever asked someone about their success story?
I am betting that their answer will be that they had a mentor. Whether it’s professional, personal, or spiritual, mentoring is often a great motivation for growth and accomplishments. Mentors offer steady support, hope, wise guidance, experience and encouragement.
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
According to research, there is a huge improvement in mentees that have a mentor. Research has seen improvements in mentee’s academic performance and a reduction in days absence from school along with reduction in disciplinary referrals.
Check this graph out about the research.
Studies point to increases in confidence and performance as well as decreases in risky behavior in students who are mentored.
*Girls with a mentor are two and half times more likely to be confident in their academic performance. Boys with a mentor are three times less likely to suffer peer pressure and anxiety, and two times less likely to develop negative behaviors.
*A mentor increases a student’s likelihood of attending college by 50 percent. Teacher mentorship nearly doubles the odds of a student attending college.
*Youth in a mentor program are 46 percent less likely to use drugs and 27 percent less likely to use alcohol.
“The impact of a TeamMates mentor on the mentee is profound, with the majority seeing improvements in their academic performance and a reduction in the number of unexcused absences and disciplinary referrals.” (Teammates.org)
I know that mentoring can improve academic performance, school attendance, graduation rates, and attitudes. But, the power of a being a mentor runs deeper than any numbers that I can find. Words of empowerment — “I believe in you,” “you’re worthy of this opportunity,” “I think you have what it takes,” “it’s okay to try and fail,” “keep trying,” “your awesome,” “you did a great job,” — all help recognize and unleash a mentee’s potential, which I know can change their course in life.
Why I became a Mentor.
Above I stated research studies that point out the impacts of being a mentor, but I have to tell you that I didn’t even read those when I signed up to be a mentor. I just knew that I wanted to make a difference in a student’s life. Can you make time every week to make a difference in someone’s life? I guarantee that the benefits of being a mentor will out weigh any inconveniences that you may have.
I became a mentor because I wanted to invest in others. I wanted to give back to our youth in our community. I believe the most impactful way to improve our community is my spending time investing in the next generation. One of the most effective ways to give back to your community is not necessarily money – it’s time.
I became a mentor because I wanted to help a youth realize their potential. I wanted to bring out their unique talents and gifts and then celebrate with them when they reach their goals.
I became a mentor to learn more about myself. Yep, you read that right. Great relationships are two-way streets. Right? Being a mentor has taught me more about my strengths and my weaknesses. It has taught that its OK to share our experiences and beliefs with someone else.
I became a mentor to change someone’s life. I wanted to share my power of life in someone else’s life-in particular, a youth. I wanted to be a positive impact on a youth’s life.
I became a mentor so that I could be a better leader. I believe that investing in someone’s life challenges our perspectives in our lives, it makes our interpersonal skills better and exposes you to the other side of the street. I believe that mentoring gives you the opportunity to learn by doing.
Benefits that I have received since being a Mentor.
The benefits that I have received since being a mentor have been more than I can ever put into words. The impact of making a difference in a person’s life is very humbling. This is what I have witnessed:
I made a positive impact on a youth. When your mentee sees that someone really does care about them because they want to rather than because they have to, they start to see their own self worth.
I can see the growth. I can see more confidence. I can see love. I can see more life goals.
I have become a better listener.
Can you be a Mentor?
It takes minimum time for maximum rewards. Being a mentor requires you just one hour a week with your mentee for the school year. Did you read that? It only takes an hour a week!! By investing in a mentee, you will be improving yourself, you will be improving their self esteem, you will be helping them improve their grades and will be encouraging them to set goals and achieve them. Think about this, one hour a week that will last for a very long time.
Want to know more about mentor? Drop a comment and I will get you in contact with a local Team Mate Representative.