You could say that Imagine Justice exists in response to one simple statistic: 1 in 3 people will grow up without a mentor. When mentors have so many incredible benefits, we want to see that statistic lowered. Mentoring teaches young people that there’s someone out there who cares about them unconditionally, not because they’re obligated to but because they’re a caring friend. We believe that everyone deserves a relationship like that when they’re young. Mentoring gives children the chance for personal growth and development and presents more social and economic opportunities. Statistics show that mentored at-risk young adults in particular are more likely to enroll in college, volunteer, hold leadership positions, and become mentors themselves.
Benefits of Being a Mentee
Mentees have so much to gain from our program. Here are some of the benefits of being mentored:
- Gaining practical advice, skills, encouragement, and support from a caring adult
- Learning from the experiences of another
- Increased confidence in social, academic, and occupational settings
- More empowered decision-making skills
- Better communication skills
- Learning new strategies for coping with personal and academic challenges
- Better goal-setting abilities
- Guidance in career, academic, and personal growth goals
- Making new friends in the peer group
- More positive beliefs about the self
The statistics truly are powerful. The Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program collected data that showed children in their program were:
- 46% less likely to use drugs
- 27% less likely to use alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip class
- 33% less likely to be physically violent
Benefits of Being a Mentor
Mentees aren’t the only ones who benefit from mentorship. The mentor enjoys rewards, too:
- Improved personal and communication skills
- Development of leadership and management skills
- Enhanced résumés and CVs
- Valuable volunteerism experience
- Recognition of skills and experience
- A sense of personal fulfillment and growth
- Increased confidence and motivation
Qualities of a Good Mentor
If you want to make a serious difference in the life of a child, there’s a set of qualities that define the personality of the people who can do this. If you possess these qualities, being a mentor might be your calling!
- You Are Supportive: Mentors are there to encourage young people when they’re feeling down or discouraged by life’s setbacks. Reminding them of their value as a person will keep them strong.
- You Are an Active Listener: Good listening is the most important quality a mentor can have. Many young people feel inferior to adults, and that’s why offering them your ear, listening before speaking, can make a huge impact on them.
- You’re Motivational: A good mentor pushes their mentees a little! Most teens don’t like being pushed out of their comfort zone by their families, but they are more open to it in other settings. Pushing them toward goals they never imagined but can reach is vital.
- You See Youth as Individuals: Showing an interest in a child’s personality and interests is huge. It makes them feel valued and increases their self-respect.