Why Do Mentors 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 opportunities. 

This summer we were busy working with three youth from our Teen Independence and Mentoring Program to work on their resume, references, cover letter, elevator pitch and interviewing skills. Three teens reached out to Program Coordinator, Maria Lara with their interest in gaining summer employment and volunteer opportunities. With the new norm of virtual learning, they were sent weekly lessons to build on their knowledge of career readiness and met with T.I.P mentors and volunteers who helped draft and edit their work.

When asked how she enjoyed working with volunteer Kayla Darcey, T.I.P participant Karilynn Jimenez responded, “It went well. I enjoyed conversation with her and gave me some good tips for my pitch. She also shared stories that related to the job and how I can talk without being so nervous.”

As summer is in full swing, our mentors have also taken this time to social distance while physically meeting with their mentees. Activities like kayaking, bike riding, having a picnic and going out for ice cream have been popular and in demand! Some mentors last saw their mentees in March, so reuniting and engaging with one another physically made up for three months of virtual chats and phone calls. We are TRUE-ly thankful to all mentors who stayed in contact with their mentees during these tough times. 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.

With the academic year right around the door, TRUE Mentors is dedicated to further the new homework help program. This past school year, we matched twelve participants with volunteers who assisted with completion of remote learning and engaging youth with supporting material. The committed volunteers met virtually and scheduled session one to three times per week. As some youth have had to continue their remote work during summer months, our volunteers rapidly responded and agreed to continue with their commitment. Jessica Gonzalez, homework helper to Willie Hernandez mentioned, “In our weekly zoom meetings, I try to encourage Willie as much as possible to come up with his own answers and write in full sentences. Our meetings are supposed to be for an hour but tend to run over just to make sure he understands both text & assignment.”

By being a consistent adult presence in a young person’s life, mentors can offer advice, share life experiences, and help a young person navigate challenges. TRUE Mentors staff and board wishes to thank all volunteers, mentors, and homework helpers for their help and dedication to our mission!

If you are interested in joining our community and becoming a volunteer, join our upcoming August Volunteer Orientation scheduled for Monday, August 10th and 31st from 6-8 pm. To register, fill out our online application or email maria@truementors.org for more information.

To read more about why mentors matter and its impact, visit The National Mentorship Partnership at mentoring.org.

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