The Value of Mentorship: Youth
Mentoring is beneficial to youth and young adults, not only in the success of their future careers but also for their general health and well-being. From increased high school graduation rates to strengthened self-confidence, mentoring can enhance the quality of life for someone during adolescence, and continue to help as they make their way through college and/or into the working world.
Hopefully, we are exposed to positive mentorship starting in our youth within our family and schools, but even if those experiences aren’t present, organizations can step in to create pathways to success in their absence. Having a period of guidance during pre-adult years can be crucial and life-changing for one’s future. Providing these unique opportunities of guidance and leadership as a company is a sound investment when looking to develop pipelines, while also giving back to the community’s youth.
“…young people with mentors are much more likely to be successful in school, to be prepared for careers, and to become leaders in their companies and communities.”
Instead of only daydreaming about their futures, and college and career goals, young people and junior staff are able to really put their plans into action. Mentors and coaches allow youth to develop their plans for the future in actionable ways. Youth are given relationships that provide good role-models, pathways and careers to emulate, networking opportunities, and so much more.
Of course, we can’t always control how things turn out, that’s life and it has a notorious reputation for throwing us for a loop, but having help, and direct input in future plans is often the key to our young people’s greatest successes. Add in hard work and a dash of determination, and you’ve got a pretty potent recipe for meeting goals head-on.
Here are a few ways to get involved, either person-to-person or online:
The National Mentoring Program
Mentoring.org is a wonderful national resource for young people across the country. They help match you with a mentor in your area, and have multiple opportunities to volunteer coaching services. They even have resources to help you create a mentoring program in your own community.
Young Non-Profit Professionals Network
The YNPN has local chapters around the country, with a focus on building non-profit community and encouraging mentorship through networking. Find your area chapter, and attend a speed-networking event to be matched with a mentor whom you’ll work with throughout the year.
“Mentor. Be one or find one for free here.” Find a Mentor is a free online service for the professionals and students alike. After signing up, the website will match you with a mentor that’s knowledgeable and experienced in a specific career path or college major, for example, or a mentor with similar interests as you. You can also become a mentor in your field of expertise or collaborate with other mentors to form a mastermind group.