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.