Preparing Today’s Youth For Their Roles As Tomorrow’s Leaders

Everyone needs a mentor to help climb life’s ladder. Mentoring is about one person helping another to achieve something. More specifically, something that is important to them. Mentoring brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee. Preparing today’s young people for their roles as tomorrow’s leaders is a challenge we all face. The future of the nation, and the future of world civilization, will soon rest in the hands of today’s youth.

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” Henrik Ibsen

The need or even the necessity to achieve is present in all stages of life. All young people have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all young people get the support they need to thrive. Children need exceptional role models to emulate to become strong and responsible adults of the future. It is extremely important for children to have a dependable guide on how to live life rightly.

Mentors are good listeners, people who care, people who want to help young people bring out strengths that are already there. It is about giving help and support in a non-threatening way, in a manner that the recipient will appreciate and value and that will empower them to move forward with confidence towards what they want to achieve.

Characteristics of a good Mentor:

  • Strong communication skills
  • A desire to help
  • Broad-based knowledge
  • Life-long learner with aptitude for teaching
  • High energy levels
  • Positive outlook and sense of humor
  • Good manager of time and resources

Mentoring is the presence of caring adults offering support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples and has proved to be a powerful tool for helping young people fulfills their potential.  A mentor is someone who can show that internal strength that each person presumably has. And though small as it may seem, a glimpse of the potential greatness that resides within each person is enough for anyone to believe in the future and continue to persevere.

 “The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have”.  ~ Norman Vincent Peale

A mentor’s main purpose is to help a young person define individual goals and find ways to achieve them. Since the expectations of each mentee will vary, the mentor’s job is to encourage the development of a flexible relationship that responds to both the mentor’s and the young person’s needs. Having someone who respects and believes in them is an excellent motivator for enabling young people to developing the confident attitudes and aspirations which are characteristic of successful leaders.

By using your influence and resources, you can bring new hope to young lives through the power of mentoring. You’ll be surprised how much you will benefit, as well. Mentoring can help by:

  • Helping young people face daily challenges
  • Improving young people’s attitudes
  • Encouraging students to stay motivated and focused
  • Offering young people opportunities to consider new career paths and get much-needed economic skills and knowledge.

One of the most effective ways to encourage your mentee is to provide frequent positive feedback. Positive feedback is a great “morale booster” that removes doubt, builds self-esteem and results in your mentee feeling a sense of accomplishment. Concentrate on what the mentee is doing well and tell your mentee about these successes.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. ~ Albert Pine

As you begin your journey toward becoming a mentor, you will need to thoroughly understand the basics of mentoring before entering into a relationship with a young person. Mentors understand the need to assume a number of different roles during the course of a mentoring relationship, but successful mentors also share the same basic qualities:

  • Respect young people.
  • Listen actively.
  • Empathize.
  • See solutions and opportunities.
  • Be flexible and open.

You are making a wonderful and very important decision in choosing to get your organization involved in mentoring. Formal Mentoring Programs are focused on supporting the relationship between mentor and youth and developing the character and capabilities of the young person. In joining a formal mentoring program, you will probably be asked to go through an application process. Also, remember that the role of a mentor comes with substantial responsibilities so you will be required to take part in an orientation and training. Throughout the duration of your mentoring relationship, be sure to seek support from the program coordinator.

Most mentoring relationships develop and flourish without problems. Occasionally, however, something comes up. Mentors have an important role, but this doesn’t include replacing family or social service professionals. A mentor can help guide a young person to the appropriate source for additional help.

Mentoring allows you to share your life experience as both a resource and a source of inspiration for their future. The children of today are tomorrow’s future. It makes good sense for businesses and individuals to support children’s development and help the next generation of employees develop to their full potential.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP

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