National Mentoring Month: Celebrating Those Who Offer Helping Hands
By: Laura Boycourt
“Mentor (noun): someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.
Mentor (verb): to teach or give advice or guidance to (someone, such as a less experienced person or a child): to act as a mentor for (someone).”
Do these definitions remind you of anyone in your life? Maybe a parent, teacher, coach, advisor, or another adult has been there for you in this way. If so, take time to thank them any day but especially in January, National Mentoring Month. Learn more below about mentoring and how you or someone you know can get involved.
Mentors can play a huge part in a young person’s life, and the impact can be felt years down the line. Everyone knows how tough being a teenager can be; between school, family, peer pressure, hormones, and any other number of situations or difficulties, young adult life can present a lot of drama. Having someone to talk to or ask for advice and someone who can provide guidance and support is incredibly valuable, especially during tough times. Imagine what it might be like for your important question to go unanswered, for the advice you need to never be given, and to not have support that could really help you out. Imagine the difference a mentor can make in your life!
The theme for this year’s National Mentoring Month, “In Real Life,” will encourage people to take a look at how mentors are there for kids and teens in real ways for the real-life situations and issues they face. Mentors across the country will show pride for their special roles on January 14, “I am a Mentor Day”. When Martin Luther King, Jr. and the spirit of service are officially honored on January 18, the mentoring month campaign will use social media to talk about the relationship between service and mentoring
If you’re lucky enough to already have an individual in your life who fills the role of mentor, consider doing something extra special to thank them on January 21, “Thank Your Mentor Day”. Check out /get_involved/thankyourmentorday/ for ideas and even send a thank you card. If you or someone you know would like to find a local mentor, or your parents are interested in finding someone for you, visit /get-involved/find-a-mentor. You can search by zip code, age (of the person to be mentored), type (one-on-one, group, e-mentoring, etc.), and “youth population served”, which allows you to search for a mentor who would be especially supportive for someone with a specific situation, circumstance, or concern. In addition to general mentoring support, mentors can work with youth who are at-risk, LGBTQ teens, those with military parents, or those working on their mental health. No matter what your life looks like, it’s likely there’s a mentor out there to offer support and guidance to help you or someone you know along the way.
To learn more about National Mentoring Month and all things mentoring, visit the following web sites.