January is National Mentoring Month. and January 17th is International Mentoring Day, so Melissa Jones, founder of the Girls Positivity Club, joined us today to share how people benefit from having mentors, the different types of mentoring and what qualifies someone to be a good mentor.
- Positive effects of mentoring on youth – Increases confidence and self-esteem, helps them reach goals, improves communication, allows both the mentor and mentee to have new experiences, improves listening skills, and builds a connection with a positive role model. Mentors can be of a variety of ages for youth and depends on the youth that is being mentored.
- Another positive is that it can come in the form of Individual and Small Group Mentoring – Individual focuses on this young person’s specific goals and life and small group focuses on mentoring a small group around a common goal or age range.
Informal and formal types of mentoring for youth:
- Informal mentoring is flexible but you meet regularly and connect around an activity or common interest. This could be a very casual relationship with a family friend where you meet weekly and catch up on daily life or connect with youth around something you have experience with such as art, music, sports, cooking, photography, etc. It is less structured and can be short or long-term with the mentor/mentee with or without setting specific goals.
- Formal mentoring follows a structure or program and usually has a time frame for the program to follow while helping mentees set goals while also building relationships. Many mentoring programs are run by a youth organization such as Girls Positivity Club for women mentors who want to lead girls in advancing confidence, self-awareness, and inner power. Check your local area for other mentoring opportunities including community centers, religious organizations, or schools.
- Mentors can also be people that you don’t know personally, but they have a positive impact on your life. For example, positive people you follow on social media or Youtube, authors of books you learn from and admire, or podcast hosts who help you or your child in some way. Mentoring comes in all kinds of forms and today is a perfect day to focus on the benefits of mentors.
5 questions to ask yourself if you are considering becoming a mentor:
- Do you like having a positive impact on others (especially youth)?
- Are you a good listener?
- Can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes (show empathy)?
- Do you have the ability to see solutions and opportunities?
- Do you have the flexibility to meet either formally or informally?
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