Take a moment to reflect on your life from childhood through adulthood and consider those who crossed your path who helped you get where you are today. Perhaps it was a teacher who spent extra time with you helping you though a challenging project or a coach who believed in you when it seemed no one else did. Even as an adult, you can probably identify a former supervisor or colleague who helped you move toward your goals or an elder who shared wisdom which inspired growth and maturity. While you may not have realized it at the time, these adults were acting a mentors, providing support and encouragement by offering a helping hand and a listening ear... challenging you to believe in yourself and be your best.
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.