A child’s life can be changed by having someone to look up to and guide them towards success. Having a mentor to talk to, discuss challenges with, and get advice from is very beneficial to children and young adults. These relationships that are formed last a very long time and benefit both the mentor and the mentee.
Benefits for Youth
Youth who have had mentors are more successful and have less behavioral problems than those who have not. They are also less likely to drop out of school and have higher graduation rates.Youth also exhibit higher self esteem as well as higher self confidence. Their interpersonal skills are improved and relationships with parents, peers, and teachers also improves. Overall having someone to talk to about frustrations, questions, and seeking out advice has many benefits. By having someone they trust to go to for help whenever they need it is very reassuring and helps them develop into successful adults. Enthusiasm for learning and school is definitely increased as well.
- 59% of children have increased grades
- 27% of youth are less likely to use alcohol
- 52% are less likely to skip school
- Better likelihood of continuing on to higher education
Benefits for Mentors
Youth aren’t the only ones who benefits from these relationships. You gain a sense of accomplishment by helping youth out and seeing the impact that you have made on someone’s life. It also enhances your resume and allows you to develop interpersonal and communications skills. This also helps to harness leadership qualities as well as increased skills in supervising and critical thinking. Most of all it helps you develop relationships that can last a lifetime and your mentee can one day become a valuable colleague down the line.
- Actively listen – when you are there don’t be thinking about other things, make sure your focus is on them
- Accountability – make sure to show up for meetings and that you have the time available to mentor kids.
- Be clear about boundaries – when developing a relationship make sure to lay out guidelines for the relationship, naturally you won’t always be available to answer their questions or calls so make it clear it might take a couple days. Another things is not to make promises, lend money, or give gifts. You are there to guide.
- Respect Privacy – don’t dive into personal business with your mentee unless they open up to you. It is also important not to disclose information you talk about your mentee with to others. It is important to develop a trusting relationship and let them know they have a safe place to come talk about issues with school and personal life with someone
Overall being a mentor is beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee. By being a mentor you are improving the lives of youth and making a lasting impact on them. This allows you to improve the quality of life for your mentees and give them the opportunity to get motivated to learn.