Potential mentors often wonder if they have what it takes to successfully act as a role model and advocate for a child, as they should. Being a mentor is a commitment that one shouldn’t go into lightly. However, the act of mentoring is much simpler than people think it is; it’s just consistently being there for a child. Mentoring is being there as a companion, a role model, a listening ear, or an adviser when your mentee needs you to be.
So, who is a good mentor? Susanna Williams at liveinthegrey.com answered this question beautifully in saying:
“Who Is a Good Mentor?
You. You’ve lived. You’ve worked. You’ve loved. You’ve failed.
You’ve been scared. You’ve succeeded. There is always someone
coming up behind you who could use a hand...”
Everyone has a story and unique experiences that can offer new perspectives to someone else. Whether it be teaching your mentee how to remember Pi to 25 digits, solve a conflict with a classmate, or land a killer jump shot, everyone has something to offer a child willing to listen. Be A Mentor programs (with the exception of ourAfter-School Mentoring Program at the Carolina Youth Development Center) are based in-school, so our mentors spend a lunch block and/or activity break with their mentee. Commitment is one of the biggest factors in being a great mentor, so if you can commit spending one hour a week to with a child on their lunch break you will change their life for the better. One hour a week, that’s all it takes.
A mentor is the key to success for many children, because they have someone to help them through the tough transitions of life, which the video above does a fantastic job of illustrating. During adolescence especially, many children will take advice from anyone who is not one of their parents, making it imperative that positive role models step in so that the child does not turn to more harmful avenues. We can all remember situations from our youth that may have turned out better if we had one more person to turn to. Be that person for a child in the Lowcountry.
If you are considering becoming a mentor please visit our About Us and Get Involved sections for more information about Be A Mentor. Also, feel free to email any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.