Life can be hard.
Whether you’re dealing with school challenges, a difficult family situation, money troubles or you’re simply ready to explore your potential, you are more likely to improve your life with dedicated support from an older, more experienced person.
What is a Mentor?
Have you ever relied on a teacher, relative or respected community or church member to help you through life’s ups and downs? If so, you’ve had a mentor! And you probably know how having that one-on-one support can change your life for the better.
A mentor is an experienced and knowledgeable person who serves as an official role model and helps guide a younger, less experienced person. Mentors can help in a specific area such as school, job preparation or personal life, or they can serve as an all around guide, helping you face all your challenges and identify and prepare for opportunities.
About National Mentoring Month
National Mentoring Month is held every January to promote youth mentoring. It began in 2002 when President George Bush proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month, and has been endorsed by the United States Congress.
According to Mentor, the National Mentoring Partnership, youth who are struggling but have a mentor are:
- 50% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90% are interested in becoming a mentor
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
How Can You Find a Mentor?
If you’d like to have a mentor but don’t know where to find one, these Arizona organizations can help:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona – Meet with your mentor 2–4 times per month to develop confidence, build better relationships and grow your success in school and life.
Boys Hope Girls Hope – Find a mentor who will help support and guide you in school, personal life and even career development so you can realize your full potential.
YMCA Reach & Rise Mentoring Program – Connect with a mentor who will listen, share interests and help raise your confidence and outlook on life through one of the oldest and most trusted community organizations in the country.
The following are mentor programs are geared specifically for foster youth and those aging out of foster care:
AASK Mentoring – Discover a mentor who will help you discover that life is good, and there are a lot of good people out there and a lot of people you can trust.
THRIVE Mentor Program – If you are between the ages of 16–21 and are transitioning out of Arizona State or Tribal Foster Care, Arizona’s Children Association will pair you with a mentor who can help you prepare to be self-sufficient and reach your highest potential.
We’ll leave you with this quote from NFL football coach, Pete Carroll:
“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.”
Happy National Mentoring Month, and if you have a mentor story to share, we’d love to hear about it!