Do you have a mentor? Someone who is there to advise you, support you as you work towards your goals, and be a positive influence in your life? If you don’t, this would be an excellent time to find one. That’s because January is National Mentoring Month, and it’s all about raising awareness about the power of mentoring in one’s life.
According to the nonprofit organization MENTOR, the benefits of a mentoring relationship can be huge. Here are just a few of the positive impacts of this supportive relationship:
- Mentors can help keep students in school.
- Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class
- Mentors help with homework and can improve their mentees’ academic skills.
- Mentors help improve a young person’s self-esteem.
- Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking
- Mentors teach young people how to relate well to all kinds of people and help them strengthen communication skills.
- Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them.
- Mentors can use their personal contacts to help young people meet industry professionals, find internships and locate job possibilities.
- Mentors introduce young people to professional resources and organizations they may not know about.
- Mentors can help their mentees learn how to seek and keep jobs.
According to MENTOR, nearly 18 million young Americans need or want mentoring, but only three million are in formal, high-quality mentoring relationships. That means more than 15 million young people still need mentors.
Just as everyone could use a mentor or two, everyone can pay it forward by being a mentor to someone else.
You have something to give back as a mentor, whether it’s as a formal mentor where you’re supporting young people through a group or organization, like the Girl Scouts or Boys and Girls Club or Girls on the Run, or simply by being a positive role model for younger girls who look up to you.
They key to being a good mentor is to show respect and empathy for your mentee, be a good listener, and meet them where they’re at. Know that building a solid mentoring relationship takes time, but if you’re willing to make the commitment, the payback can be fantastic.
To find out more about how you can either find a mentor or become a mentor yourself, check out these organizations:
Also, read about this great organizations that offer mentoring for young women that we’ve featured on Like a Boss:
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