As January has arrived we would like to take a moment to inform everyone that January is National Mentoring Month.
National Mentoring Month is a month to celebrate the benefits mentoring has on youth development, recognize individuals who volunteer their time to mentor and encourage individuals interested in having a positive impact in the lives of children and youth to become mentors in 2008.
Take a few moments and reflect on the mentors in your life that who have impacted you in a positive way. Whether it was a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach or an individual who mentored you through a formal mentoring program you undoubtedly have fond memories of these people and how they helped you become the person you are today.
A mentor is simply someone who has a consistent and positive presence in life of a young person. Whether they play sports, watch movies, do homework or just hang out and talk, the fact that they show up and take a genuine interest in the life of their mentee is what makes the most difference. Unfortunately all too often in today's world young people are left to fend for themselves without any role models to help them be successful. Mentors can be those role models even if it's only for an hour each week, personal one on one time contributes greatly to the positive development of young people. Children and youth thrive when they know they have a caring adult in their life that will be there to support, love and encourage them no matter what. Not only does the mentee benefit from the relationship, many times mentors say they almost feel guilty for how good they feel after they mentor. Having the chance to give their time and invest in a young person gives mentors a sense satisfaction and contribution, as they are able see the positive impacts their guidance has on their mentees.
Chances are most of us had numerous individuals in our lives who mentored us and helped us become the people we are today, why not become that person for a young person this year? Right now there are thousands of children in Iowa on the waiting list for a mentor, take one of these children off the list in 2008 and be a mentor.