A mentor is someone who cares about youth: present and future; someone who takes charge and speaks the truth. Being a mentor is not only about guiding and being knowledgeable to those who are less experienced, but it is about building a relationship with someone and impacting them to make a difference. To be a mentor is to be committed, passionate, wise, driven, and ready to empower young minds so that they are ready to achieve. Youth are our future and they need to be taught the skills to be successful now and as adults. As we celebrate National Mentoring Month throughout the month of January, I challenge you to accept the call… “Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters.”
These are the words of Ebony Watson, Program Coordinator at the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) which houses NCWD/Youth. Ms. Watson’s blog post on the NCWD/Youth page (January 8, 2014) describes her early exposure to special education and her journey to becoming a mentor for youth with disabilities and other problems. Her experiences and passion paved a path to her involvement with the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP), a program that is “a high-tech career focused mentoring program that is proactive in assisting youth with better decision-making skills so that they will not get involved in the Juvenile Justice System. ”
Too often, youth are not provided the opportunity to express their personal views openly with adults and they do not get the chance to explore the career paths that they are interested in. Mentoring programs such as RAMP allow young adults to be exposed to real world issues.
January is National Mentoring Month. With the motto, “Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters,” The National Mentoring Month website is a great resource for those who would like to become mentors or those looking for a mentor for themselves or loved ones.
Read the“Mentoring Effect”, “a compelling new report informed by the first-ever nationally representative survey of young people on the topic of both informal and formal mentoring, as well as a literature and landscape review and insights from a variety of key leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and education.”
Find your local mentoring partners here, through the National Mentoring Website.