Making a Difference: Mentoring

Making a difference can take on many forms, depending on your particular skills and what you’re hoping to achieve. If you want to have a noticeable impact on an individual’s life, mentoring may be the way to go You can form a bond with another person, show that person  you care, and create what can be a lasting relationship.

Thought there are forms of mentoring for adults, such as career mentoring , mentoring is often done for children, particularly at-risk youth. Before you decide to become a mentor, make sure you’re willing to commit to being there for that child. That child will count on you to be there, and giving up after a short time could have lasting effects. If you are willing to commit, however, the effects could be even greater. You can teach that child self esteem and life skills, or simply be a friend. You can show that child the positive side of life, broaden his or her horizons, and show him or her the good in people. For young people growing up in less-than-ideal situations, your influence could chance that child’s life. And helping another person can enrich your life as well.

If you’d prefer to work with adults, particularly those with disabilities, you may want to check out The MENTOR Network’s website for opportunities in your area.

The National Mentoring Partnership website can help you learn more about opportunities and the mentoring process, or you can check out individual organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many local schools and religious organizations also offer mentoring opportunities. You can search for availability on the National Mentoring Partnership website or call your local school or religious group.

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