Written by: Stephanie Freeman, MCCOY Communications Director
January is a month of many important celebrations: celebrations that bring us together as a community and inspire us to do better. This month we are called to create awareness of the importance of mentoring and the benefits it has on the mentee as well as the mentor.
A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher or an influential supporter. A mentor can come in many forms – an older sibling, coach, co-worker, professor, etc. Mentors can be formal – assigned relationships, weekly meetings, and goals, or informal – with infrequent emails, texts and introductions to others. However the mentor-mentee relationship is established it is bound to be a learning experience.
I have been fortune to have mentors both personally and professionally that have helped me to get to where I am today. Personally, I have had friends and family that have turned into informal mentors, whom have taught me through their life-experiences how I want to lead my life. Professionally, I have had mentors assigned at work as well as informal mentors that I respect and admire their career courses. I have learned from each one of my mentors and they have helped to form the person I am today.
In my life, I have tried to help those younger than I am or those in need of support and advices. However, I have not yet ventured into a formal relationships where I was the mentor. That is something that I would like to do.
According to the Indiana Mentoring Partnerships, “The most important resource you have is time. And, quality time with a caring adults can make a lasting difference in a child’s life. When you become a mentor, you will help a child or a teenager get the support and encouragement that they need to succeed in life. By mentoring a young person just one hour each week, you can:
- Improve academic and study skills
- Help a child discover new talents and ambitions
- Provide moral support and confidence
- Change a child’s life for the better
I encourage all of you to sign-up to be a mentor. In Indianapolis, there are more than 100 organizations that offer mentoring opportunities to young people in our community.