My mentoring success story

Jordan and I during an outing to Greenfield Village

Meeting your mentee and her family for the first time can be an intimidating experience.  You conjure up all kinds of scenarios in your head – a disgruntled kid, who is resistant or a suspicious parent, who questions your every move. These circumstances may play out like a drama in your mind’s eye. Thankfully, none of those happened for me. In fact, my experience was the opposite.

It’s been four years since I was introduced to my mentee Jordan. To this day, we’re still learning from each other. She’s an inquisitive, mature and friendly 12 year old. Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had since graduating college. Interestingly enough, I became a mentor for Alternatives for Girls during my senior year at Wayne State University.

Jordan’s mom Carmelita had this to say about our mentor/mentee relationship:

Jordan and I four years ago at our first group outing

“Having a mentor has introduced Jordan to different activities and experiences. She’s grown so much because of it. You all have done things together that I haven’t had the opportunity to do because of my unpredictable work schedule,” she says. “She looks at you like a big sister. She’s always excited and looks forward to the next meeting.”

Still not sure about mentoring?

Here are a few insights that may help you:

– You don’t have to be rich or famous or have super powers. Honestly, you don’t even have to be employed to be a good mentor. Kids just want to know you care.

– Most youth seeking mentors are good kids. While some youth may come from troubled backgrounds, many of them come from stable home environments. They may have challenges in school or socially. All children are different. Get to know them.

– If you have a big heart and a little time, then you’re a great candidate. Sometimes, a phone call is all it takes to make a difference.

When you feel inspired to pay it forward, consider donating your time to a young person. Visit www.mentoring.org for additional resources.

 

Mentor a Girl, Change Your World

April 12th event promotes sisterhood and positive female relationships

 

TROY, Mich. – Hate and Envy seem to have become the new “it” girls as evident with the popularity of reality shows depicting female drama and cat fights. While some are cashing in on the drama, others are encouraging positive and empowering relationships among girls and women.

 

On Thursday, April 12, the Oakland/Macomb Chapter of the National Organization for Women will present “Mentor a girl – Change your world,” a program highlighting the benefits of mentoring and personal real-life role modeling.

 

This program is specific to women mentoring girls and will discuss how to make mentoring fit to a busy lifestyle and the compelling reasons why mentoring is so important in today’s world.

 

Guest speakers include Paula Dirkes, author of “Mentor Me: The Complete Guide for Women who want to Mentor Girls,” who will discuss how to incorporate mentoring into your existing lifestyle and Rasheda Kamaria, founder of Empowered Flower Girl LLC, who will discuss the importance of inspiring sisterhood in an age of bad girls, housewives and frenemies.

 

The event will take place at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois in Troy, Mich. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.  Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.  Attendees must RSVP by Friday, April 6 via email to oaklandcountynow@gmail.com.