We are in the midst of doing our year end surveys with the kids in the program. It’s our chance to see them one-on-one and get their take on how mentoring is going.
Their replies are often fun, funny, and thought provoking. For example, when I asked one child what he hoped to be when he grew up he replied, “A forger.”
Much to my relief, a couple extra questions showed he wanted to be a welder, not a counterfeiter.
Consistently across the board youth listed two things that they found most helpful in having a mentor. It wasn’t the activities, though they all enjoy the games and projects. It wasn’t how much schooling or how smart their mentors were. It wasn’t what their mentors wore or looked like—I have yet to hear one mention the age of their mentor. Consistently across the board youth stated that their mentor was most helpful in that they were kind and listened. Just showing up, being a listening ear, and being a live role model is what makes the greatest impression and has the longest effect.
Thank you all for being the person who just shows up. Please let us know if we can help you along the way and please reach out to those you know to see if they might be willing to just show up and be a friend to a child as well. We have so many youth who need mentors. We need good people to help us fill that need.