Think back for a moment to your childhood. Who were those people in your life who believed in you? Individuals who opened your mind to new possibilities and expanded your horizons. The ones who inspired you to be your best and dream big. Hopefully a few faces come to mind. In addition to our own experiences, research proves that quality mentoring makes a measurable and lasting difference in the lives of young people.
I grew up in a military family. My parents immigrated to America to live the American dream for themselves and the future generations of their family. They both worked extremely hard to provide for my brother and I. It meant long hours alone. My early teen years were spent navigating life like relationships with boys and managing teen-life through the influence of my peers who were also dealing with the same things. We had NO experience and made the decisions we thought we could best manage on our limited view of the world. This lead to a lot of misdirection, struggles and regret. Looking back, I needed a mentor who could give wisdom and guide me through life’s circumstances. It was later in my high school years, my mom became that mentor I needed. My friends and I would seek advice from her as she listened to our relationship issues. She had a great way of making us feel heard and understanding our feelings. She gained my trust, and I am so grateful to have her as my guide.
January is right around the corner and it is National Mentoring Month. Established by the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR), the month-long celebration highlights and promotes the positive difference mentors make in the lives of young people.
Girls today face unique challenges growing up. But mentoring can positively impact all young people. In fact, it is the single most important factor in preventing risky behaviors in youth. A mentor offers the support children and teens need to be resilient, to stay on track in school, make healthy decisions, graduate college, and succeed in the workforce. Quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in their personal, academic, and professional lives.
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees a young person that he or she matters, is understood, and lets them know that they matter and are not alone in dealing with their daily challenges. As we celebrate National Mentoring Month, consider the difference you can make in the life of a young person. And if you need help finding a great mentor for your child, respond to this email or comment below! I’d love to help because I know how much it helped me!