Change a life.
When you become a mentor, you will be committing to actively participate in one of the most impactful things in the life of a young person: a relationship.
What Makes a Good Mentor
Before becoming a mentor, here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring. 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
Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees, and that mentoring has enabled them to:
- Have fun
- Achieve personal growth and learn more about themselves
- Improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference
- Enhance their relationships with their own children
Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.
You have made a wonderful and very important decision in choosing to become a mentor. Before you start to look at the programs that are available, think about and identify your own interests and needs. To help you decide which type of mentoring program you want, ask yourself the following 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, it is helpful to identify your own preferences and needs, and remember mentoring programs are not a “one-size-fits-all.” Knowing about yourself will help in selecting mentoring programs to better fit your needs and ultimately connect with a young person.