After all they experienced in 2020, children and young adults across the globe can use an extra helping of support and empathy.
Twenty-first century students face a number of challenges – from societal pressure and family obligations to financial hardships and mental health crises.
Coping with all of this, especially for those who lack support, can be difficult.
That’s why mentors are needed.
As a mentor, you have the potential to change the trajectory of someone’s life, including your own.
My life was forever changed when I responded to an ad an organization placed in the local newspaper seeking mentors for girls in its after-school program. I was a college senior at the time facing numerous challenges myself.
I became a mentor as a way to shift the focus from my pain and trauma to help others. I was healed in the process. At the time, I was experiencing depression and PTSD after losing two close relatives. While meeting with my mentees had a positive impact for them, the experience saved my life.
A big heart and a little time
Whether formal or informal, your mentoring relationship can have a tremendous impact, even if you spend just an hour a week connecting with your mentee virtually.
Young people who need mentors:
- First generation college students
- Youth in or aging out of foster care
- Youth with an incarcerated parent
- Low-income/homeless youth and young adults
- LGBTQ youth
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership found that students who have a mentor are more likely to stay in school, attend college, volunteer, hold positions of leadership and become mentors themselves.
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 this.
At the end of the day, you don’t need a fancy job title or curio cabinet full of plaques and medals to make a difference for young people.
Still unsure if mentoring is right for you? Download Empowered Flower Girl’s FREE Mentoring Guide for busy professionals. Ready to become a mentor? Check out the MENTOR search tool to locate a program near you.
Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, mentoring consultant and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl, a social enterprise that empowers youth and youth advocates to live above life’s drama to make a difference. Connect with her at www.rashedakamaria.com.