12 Most Self Serving Benefits of Youth Mentoring

12 Most Self Serving Benefits of Youth Mentoring

You may have heard all the reasons why you should give back to your community, why you should mentor a young person — how it’s the right thing to do, how you can help save the world… yada, yada, yada. Right. Not to undermine all that good will, but how about taking a moment to consider what you can get out of it too?

January is National Mentoring Month. In honor of all you current and potential mentors out there, let’s take a look at what’s in it for you:

1. Build your network

Mentor training and support groups are great places to meet people who know people who know people who know people who… ya never know who you might meet who might have a need for your skills and passion. What better stuff do you have to on a Saturday morning, anyhow?

2. Go white water rafting

Or do something equally exciting. Youth mentoring programs frequently sponsor fun activities that mentoring pairs can participate in together. Get in on the action!

3. Develop new skills

The communication skills alone you can gain through the training and experience of mentoring are applicable through the rest of your life.

4. Stay tuned or get tuned in with the younger generation

Feeling out of touch with popular culture? Mentoring will get you up to speed, and quick.

5. Learn new text abbreviations

ROFL. What, you don’t know what that means? (SMH) Maybe you need to get yourself a young person to mentor you on the finer points of 21st century communication skills.

6. Make friends

Volunteering is a great way to meet nice people. Volunteers are nice and people who want to help young people are even nicer. Who wouldn’t want more of those nice types as friends?

7. Like yourself more

I know, it’s almost cliché, but giving of your time and talent to a good cause is a real boost in the self-esteem bucket.

8. Build a legacy that lasts

Passing on your experiences, wisdom, talent, and hard-earned life lessons to the next generation is a great way to pay it forward.

9. Make your neighborhood better

When you mentor a young person in your community, you are taking a personal stake in the place you live and the people who live there. That goodness will come back to you.

10. Appreciate your family more

A young person experiencing adversity in a risk-filled environment can help you begin to see your own life situation from a very different perspective.

11. See transformation happen before your eyes

And that’s just way cooler than watching reruns of Jersey Shore.

12. Live longer

Recent research shows that volunteers live longer. That is, the life extending perks come into play if you volunteer for selfless reasons. So, know the bennies are there, but then forgetaboutit…

These are just a few of the perks. If you are in a mentoring relationship, what would you add to this list? If you are on the fence about mentoring, what would push you to the “do it” side?

Ready to mentor? Learn how to connect with a program near you through
MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership.

Featured image courtesy of moonjazz licensed via Creative Commons.

Kelly Belmonte


Kelly Belmonte is a poet, blogger, and management consultant with expertise in non-profit organizational development and youth mentoring. She blogs about creativity and artistic expression on her blog "All Nine Muses". Her poetry has been published in Atlas Poetica and Relief Journal, and her two books of poetry, "Three Ways of Searching" and "Spare Buttons", are available through Finishing Line Press.

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Martina McGowan
Martina McGowan

Good post, Kelly.

I have gone white water rafting a number of times with my own children and with friends. It is an awesome time for team-building and helping people see what they are really made of. There isn't much time to waffle, whine or finger-point while you're running the rapids. Know who you are, know what you can do, do your job, and depend on everyone else to do their's.