Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Think about your own career or club work. Each of us have had a mentor that helped us navigate hurdles and gain valuable knowledge. This may have been in a structured or casual form, but it showed us that there was someone who cared. Two early warning indicators that a student may be falling off-track and needs a mentor:
High levels of absenteeism: Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely to skip a day of school.
Recurring behavior problems: Young adults facing an opportunity with a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. In addition to better school attendance and a chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school.
Positive effects of mentoring:
Mentored youth are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking.
91% are more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
78% are more likely to volunteer regularly.
90% are interested in becoming a mentor.
130% are more likely to hold leadership positions.
Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact lives at home, at work, and in the community. Become a mentor! Pass along your wealth of experience to others. It will enrich your life on a personal and professional level:
Build your leadership skills – It helps you develop your ability to motivate and encourage others. This can help you become a better manager, employee, and team member.
Improve your communication skills – Different backgrounds will force you to find a way to communicate more effectively as you navigate through the mentoring relationship.
Learn new perspectives – By working with someone less experienced or from a different background, you can gain a fresh perspective.
Advance your career – Showing that you’ve helped others learn and grow is essential to advancement in today’s business world.
Gain personal satisfaction – It can be fulfilling to know that you’ve directly contributed to someone’s growth and development. Seeing your mentee succeed as result of your input is a reward.
The number of ways mentoring can help are as varied as the people involved. When you decide to mentor someone, you really have no way of knowing how far they will go, whether you shape the next great entrepreneur or help them achieve their dreams, but you will make a difference–and that’s all that matters!
Submitted by: Eva Jackson, GFWC-NC Education & Libraries Chairman