I grew up in a part of town that would be considered well-off and financially stable. I was given more opportunities than most kids at my age. One of the opportunities I was given that I took advantage of was being mentored. I have had a mentor since I was a freshman in high school and I am now a junior in college. Recently, I have noticed how much of an impact my mentor has made on my life and how she has helped shape me into the person I am today. Being mentored is something I took for granted at first, but I have come to appreciate and really value my time with my mentor.
I have also had the opportunity to be a mentor to many college students, students at an inner-city school, and junior high school girls at my church. I do not say this to be prideful, but I can see first-hand the impact that can be made as a mentor. I have been a mentor to first year college students and because of this I have helped students find their niche and find ways to get involved. I have also tutored and mentored students at an inner-city school. This experience opened my eyes up to a world that I had never been exposed to before and it was intimidating at first, but I soon realized that I could still help the students and be available for them. Because of this experience I learned that sometimes kids just need someone to talk to and listen to them, and this is something I have carried with me in all of my mentoring experiences. I also realized that this trait was something that I valued in my mentor.
I write this to share my experiences of being a mentor and being mentored, but to also push others to be a mentor as well. My mentor made a huge impact on my life and helped me when I needed it. There is joy and satisfaction that comes from being a mentor even though it may not always be easy. It really is possible to make a difference in someone’s life and if given the opportunity I would encourage anyone to take it. Being a mentor comes with challenges, but taking the time to establish a relationship with someone that truly needs it is a rewarding experience. Many children in this city really need extra attention or someone to listen to them, and there are people out there that would make excellent mentors. I hope that by sharing some of my experiences of mentoring and being mentored someone would be inspired to go out and be a mentor themselves.