Become A Mentor

When you were young, did you know how to study for a test or make plans for college? Do you remember wanting your first car or looking for a part-time job? Simple things that may seem easy or straightforward to you now may be a complete mystery to a young person.

Mentoring is one of the most significant ways that you can impact a young person’s life. Yet 1 in 3 young people will grow up without having a mentor. These youth, not matched through a formal mentoring program or informally through a family friend or community member, remain disconnected from critical resources that can help them navigate childhood and adolescence.

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Why mentor?

We often think that mentoring relationships only produce benefits for the mentee. While the young person receives many benefits from the relationship, we often hear from mentors that the rewards they gain from the relationship are as substantial as those for their mentees.

Being a mentor has allowed them to:

  • Have fun
  • Learn more about themselves
  • Improve their own values and self-esteem
  • Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity
  • Feel more satisfied and productive and have a better attitude at work

Relationships matter. Making a connection with a young person in your community has the potential to change not only their life, but yours as well. Lean in, become a mentor!

What makes a good mentor?

Before becoming a mentor, here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring. Most of us have had a teacher, supervisor, or coach who has been a mentor to us and made a positive difference in our lives. Those people wore many hats, acting as role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. Mentors assume these different roles during the course of a relationship and share some basic qualities:

  • A sincere desire to be involved with a young person
  • Respect for young people
  • Active listening skills
  • Empathy
  • Ability to see solutions and opportunities
  • Flexibility

Get Started!

Find a mentoring opportunity today! Using the Mentoring Connector you can search for a variety of programs in your community and connect with them directly about volunteering. Before you start to look at the programs that are available, think about and identify your own interests and needs. To help answer any questions you may have, check out these FAQs about being a mentor. Also, make sure you ask yourself these questions:

  • What time commitment can I make?
  • What age of youth would I like to work with?
  • Would I like to work with one child or with a group of children?
  • Would I like to team with other adults to mentor a child or a group of children?
  • What types of activities interest me? Do I want to help a youth learn a specific skill, pursue an interest, help with schoolwork or just be a caring adult friend?
  • What mentoring location would I prefer?

While thinking about these questions, remember to be open and flexible to all the different mentoring programs and focus areas that are out there.

Become a Mentor

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