Happy New Year, everyone! It is finally January, which means that it is National Mentoring Month! We are so excited to celebrate the power of mentoring and the amazing mentors who volunteer, not only with us, but throughout the Charleston area and the nation.
National Mentoring Month was established in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. The month long campaign focuses national attention on the need for mentors, raises awareness of mentoring, and highlights the great work of mentors. On our National Mentoring Month tab under the News & Events section you view the events we have planned for this month.
Mentoring is so important, because everyone can use extra support. While our main focus is getting mentors for those without parents cheering them on every step of the way, even people with great family backgrounds can recall special people in their lives who were there for them and offered guidance when they needed it most. Our Public Relations Coordinator, Janel, remembers her favorite mentor fondly.
"She was my dance teacher, the best dance teacher in the world if you ask me," she said. "Mrs. Trudie is the sweetest human being one could ever have the pleasure of meeting. She really took an interest in all of the girls at her school of dance and our lives outside of the studio. I had experiences with teachers/coaches in the past who only saw us as tools to get the next trophy on the shelf. They did not care about us as people and were sometimes brutal towards us, " she continued. "Mrs. Trudie is always encouraging, and greets everyone like they are a member of her family. Of course she corrected us, but she did so in a way that was tactful and humorous. She began teaching dance as a way to encourage girls and boost their self esteem. She never put an absurd amount of pressure on us to be the very best, she only wanted us to be our best. I had a perfection complex growing up, so having her talk with me, assure me, and tell me I did not need to stress is something that still helps me to this day. Mrs. Trudie was not the last person to impact my life as a mentor, but she was the first to do so in such a meaningful way," Janel concluded.
That kind of encouragement is usually all children are looking for and, when they do not get it that is when they act out. They get frustrated because they have dreams that they do not know how to accomplish and no one to show them the way. It is astounding the things people go on to accomplish because someone encouraged them and made them believe that they could accomplish it. Children who are mentored show improvements in their grades and school behavior, they are less likely to get involved with crime, and are less likely to get involved with drugs. This is why mentors are needed. If every child had an advocate pushing them to be the best possible version of themselves the world would be a much better place- that is why we are celebrating National Mentoring Month.