WHY BE A MENTOR?
THE POWER OF MENTORING
There have likely been countless moments in your life when you have counted on someone you trust for advice, companionship, and support. It could have been a teacher, coach, family member or friend, the value of a mentor is undeniable. They can guide, direct, or shape your present situation and future opportunities, for the better.
AT THE AGE OF 11, Carl* was struggling in school, acting out in class and at home. His parents were divorced so he and his sister split their time between both homes. In the Spring of that year, Carl’s family faced the traumatic loss of his dad to suicide. Last year, as he entered high school, Carl continued to struggle. He was skipping school, had started using alcohol and drugs, and had some run-ins with law enforcement. Encouraged by his guidance counselor, he agreed that connecting with a Big Brother might be useful. Now a sophomore, Carl meets with his Big Brother, Daniel*, 2-3 times a month during a free period at school. Daniel, an IT professional in his 50s, had some similar experiences in his teens that have helped him relate to what Carl is going through. Having someone to talk to, who doesn’t judge him for his struggles, has been very important to Carl. Their conversations around what Carl might want to do after high school led to exploring some options through the Vocational Center. Having a better picture of what might be the next step in his education has helped focus Carl on improving his grades in order to get there. Daniel has also helped Carl think through some of his interactions with his mother. Carl’s tendency to blow up at her and then apologize the next day was creating a great deal of tension at home. He and Daniel talked through how Carl could handle those situations differently. Carl says that Daniel helped him understand the stress and struggles his mother faces every day and encouraged him to think about how he could support her instead of adding to her stress. Some days are better than others, but Carl is learning to find ways to manage his emotions.
* To protect the privacy of our Bigs and Littles, their names have been changed-but this is their true story of how mentoring can make all the difference.
KIDS IN OUR MENTORSHIP PROGRAM ARE
|46%||less likely to experiment with drugs|
|52%||less likely to skip school|
|59%||more likely to get better grades|