If you’re like most working professionals and entrepreneurs, you’re probably pressed for time. From conferences and luncheons to networking events and fundraisers, your work and social calendars are maxed out on any given day. Not to mention family responsibilities. Carving out time to mentor a young person seems impossible, right? Not necessarily.
Modern technology makes it possible to make a difference without leaving the comfort of your home or office. If you have at least an hour a week and a smartphone, laptop or desktop, you can be a mentor.
Several organizations offer virtual or e-mentoring programs. Your mentee doesn’t have to live in the same city, or country for that matter.
“If you have a big heart and a little time, consider mentoring,” said Rasheda Kamaria, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl, a Detroit-area social enterprise that works with schools, communities and families seeking solutions to cyberbullying, relational aggression and other social/communication challenges facing teens. “Whether formal or informal, your mentoring relationship can have a tremendous impact even if you just spend an hour a week connecting with your mentee.”
January is National Mentoring Month and Empowered Flower Girl is partnering with the Skyline Club in Southfield, Michigan to launch the new Inspired Professionals series. The three-event series kicks off on Wednesday, Jan. 28 with the Mentoring Month Mix & Mingle. Additional events are scheduled February 26 and March 26. Visit empoweredflowergirl.com/mentor-month for details.
Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.
The Mentoring Effect, a national report commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, revealed that young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.