January is National Mentoring Month – a time for individuals and organizations across the country to bring awareness to the need for caring adults to serve as role models for youth.
According to MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, 1 out of 3 children will face growing up without a mentor. That means millions of children throughout the country may never have powerful, positive interventions.
From children and teens in foster care to those with incarcerated parents, there are specific populations of youth who need positive role models.
Consider one-on-one or even group mentoring in your community. There’s also opportunities to mentor youth across the country through online or e-mentoring programs.
It only takes a few hours a month of face time and a phone call or text a week to help increase a child’s self-esteem. In addition to the mentee’s development, the mentor benefits in many ways. My mentees have helped me aspire higher in my career and in life. And knowing that they’re looking up to me keeps me living in integrity.
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor but not sure if you have what it takes, answer these questions: 1. Do you have a big heart? 2. Do you have a little time? If yes and yes, then you’ve got it! At the end of the day, you don’t need a fancy job title or curio cabinet full of plaques and medals to be make a difference for young people.
Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, motivational speaker, author and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl. She is a dedicated youth advocate and was recently named to the Michigan Community Service Commission’s Mentor Michigan + Consultant Network.