Becoming a mentor can be one of the most rewarding experiences you have in your life. The feeling of knowing that the time you are spending to better the life of someone in need of your guidance is almost unrivaled. Getting involved in any mentoring program whether it be becoming a Big Brother or a Big Sister, or simply mentoring an up and coming young professional looking to be led in the right direction, you have the potential to make such a positive impact in their lives and shape them for the better. The benefits of these programs are numerous and make them all the more important. The research speaks for itself; mentoring can create a positive impact on the lives of youth. Studies have shown that regardless of their income level, teens were able to grow intellectually, interpersonally, and emotionally from their supportive mentors. Youth that have mentors also have higher rates of high school graduation and are less likely to drop out. Their behavior also improves when they have a mentor. Youth have shown to have more self-confidence and self-esteem allowing them to set bigger goals for themselves.
Public/Private Ventures, which is an independent national research organization based in Philadelphia, have done a lot of research to show the impact that Big Brothers Big Sisters programs and other programs similar have on the youth. They looked at over 950 boys and girls across eight different agencies across the country. After an 18 month, they found that the youth were 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin drinking alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip class, and 33% less likely to hit someone. These numbers show just how valuable mentorship is. Young professionals can also benefit tremendously from having a mentor. Some of these people have ideas for starting a business or may be lost in the direction of their career path and are in need of guidance. Whatever the case may be, if you have the power to be that guide they are looking for, it can make all the difference in the world. These young professionals are the future, and it is important that they have the resources to reach their full potential, and as a mentor, you can hold the key to tapping into that potential. If it’s through constant motivation, problem-solving, or simply someone to listen, you can provide them a platform to reach heights they may not have thought were possible.
Whether you are mentoring the youth or up and coming professionals, providing your wisdom and knowledge can make a huge impact on the trajectory of their lives. There are few greater feelings than knowing that you are an integral part of shaping someone’s future for the better so if the opportunity to become a mentor presents itself, don’t hesitate to take it.