Mentors should understand they are not meant to replace a parent, guardian or teacher. A mentor is not a disciplinarian or decision maker for a child. Instead, a mentor echoes the positive values and cultural heritage parents and guardians are teaching. A mentor is part of a team of caring adults.
A mentor is a caring adult who devotes time to a young person. Although mentors can fill any number of different roles, all mentors have the same goal in common: to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths.
Since the expectations of each child 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.
By sharing fun activities and exposing a youth to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement and introduces the young person to new ideas.
A mentor may help a young person:
If you think you would make a good mentor, check out the many opportunities that are available in your area.
In joining a formal mentoring program, you will probably be asked to go through an application process. As part of that process, you will need to supply personal and professional references, have a background check performed and complete a personal interview.
Also, remember that the role of a mentor comes with 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.
Information in this section was provided courtesy of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership