January 9, 2018
Did your New Year’s resolutions involve giving back to your community? If so, January, National Mentoring Month, is a great time to get started! Mentoring impacts more than just the youth involved.
Consider the mission statement of Mentor Dubuque:
Mentor Dubuque creates and supports one to one mentoring relationships between youth facing challenges and caring adults to positively impact lives.
Let’s talk about those last three words. We are a youth-serving program, so of course we work to positively impact the lives of our mentees. However, our mission statement isn’t limited to just the mentees’ lives and this is deliberate. We regularly hear from mentors about the positive impact mentoring has on their own lives. Mentors report things such as:
- My mentee has opened my eyes to the struggles some families go through.
- I get to witness the delight of my mentee as she experiences something new and good.
- My mentee keeps me young and hip!
- I have learned to be more patient. Some things can’t be rushed or don’t happen right away.
- My mentee has become a role model for my own kids and he helps my kids keep things in perspective.
- My mentee teaches me how to prevail during hard times and to be grateful for what I have.
These statements are the reason I smile when people tell me our mentees are lucky to be in the program. Yes, they are and so are our mentors!
-Kalyn Decker, LMSW, Mentor Dubuque Program Manager, Hillcrest Family Services