We will be starting a new weekly Mentoring drop in service which will commence on Monday the 5th of March. This will be a a two day drop in, Mondays for 16-21 year olds and Wednesdays for 11- 15 year olds from 3 pm to 6 pm. Our objective is to provide a safe environment where we can offer advice and guidance to youth within the local and wider community.
Opening up to mentoring could potentially be one of the most rewarding processes you can experience. Let me briefly delve into to the essence of mentoring. Essentially buried within its core you’ll find relationship. Relationships are very valuable on multiple levels. They allow us as human being to connect, to share, to learn and so on so forth. Relationships form links that forge common ground for us to stand on.
In terms of mentoring the common ground in my opinion is help. The mentor wants to help and the mentee can benefit immensely from the help received in the long run. The transition between Childhood to Adulthood is a vital stage of development, even more so in this day and age as society races rapidly into the not so distant digital future. I’m pretty sure we have all heard the phrase “The youth are the future of tomorrow”. With that being said is it not the responsibility of us as adults who have already made it through the sticky transition to collectively attempt to shape our future? We shouldn’t leave it to celebrities, music stars and social media trends that intentionally or unintentionally have a huge influence over the youth. Sadly a lot of youth are so bombarded with constant visuals of a certain lifestyle. This Lifestyle is often perceived as perfection or success; you know, the material possessions, German cars, designer bags, the luxurious holidays, the waist trainers, bleached white teeth, the perfect body. Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having nice things, travelling the world and taking pride in your appearance but this becomes dangerous when youth swallow the misconception that the latter equates validation and if they don’t have these things then something is wrong with them.
This then can cause our youth as well as adults to throw away morals, risk their freedom and damage their mental health in order to attain the illusion. Now mentors having had a head start in the game of life and acquired the valuable experiences it brings can utilize this to guide the next generation through the maze. This doesn’t mean we approach the task with a prideful autocratic demeanor where if the mentee doesn’t follow every thing we suggest then their doomed. Rather we approach our role with humility mixed with the desire to aspire the youth to become the best version of themselves. We shouldn’t be quick to judge mentees decisions we disagree with but willing to challenge attitudes and offer correction. This can be achieved through numerous different ways. Some mentees may need to hear that something the’re engaged in is wrong e.g. if your running down a path that is littered with traps that I can see but you can’t, I’d be wrong for not telling you. Others simply just need someone to actively listen to how their day went and what current issues they are dealing with, while others may need motivation to ignite the dormant possibilities that sleep within them. I believe Mentors should be trying to help the mentees become the best version of themselves opposed to trying to recreate someone in their own identical image.
I suppose at times we all act as mentors to our family, friends and colleagues without even really considering the role we are playing. However not everyone is fortunate enough to have those kind of relationships or positive figures in their lives leaving them feeling alone, isolated and not sure what steps to take that will help them progress. Mentors can definitely help bridge the gap of where the mentee is to where they could go, hence why we are running the drop in sessions.
“Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpen the countenance of his friend” -Proverbs 27:17