Letter, Opinion

Mentors needed

Dear Editor,

The Mentor Connector is a non-profit community based organization that focuses on the youth of today. Created in 2004 by dedicated community members with a belief that every youth deserves to feel valued, supported, and welcome. Since then, the organization has blossomed with a wide range of support services ranging from prevention and intervention to support and innovative strategies to keep the youth engaged and thriving.

So what exactly is a mentor? Or mentoring? And why does someone need one? The dictionary definition will have you believe that a mentor is “an experienced and trusted advisor” who “advises or trains” someone, but I think anyone who’s ever been fortunate enough to have a mentor will describe the relationship as so much more.

A mentor is not only a trusted advisor, but a source of inspiration and support of unconventional optimism; it’s a spiritual guide, who helps you find the way on your journey through various ventures, new acquisitions, through your youth and into a rooted member of your community.

The Mentor Connector has developed successful programs to pair mentors and youth based on several factors to ensure a successful relationship. Their relationship begins at personality matches and the bond is developed through activities done together in the community. Currently, there are over 60 youth, between the ages of 5 and 25, in need of this special relationship and now more than ever, mentors are desperately needed. Due to the global pandemic, our youth are facing isolation, depression, and anxiety. The right mentor match can be the difference in changing the trajectory of a youth’s life.

Some basic qualifications to become a mentor are: 18 + years old with a valid driver’s license, and a commitment of one year. The seasoned staff at the Mentor Connector will provide onboarding mentors with ongoing support and training to sustain a weekly meeting between mentor and youth for an hour.

These built kinships strengthen the mentor, the youth and their parents. Becoming a mentor is an incredibly rewarding experience, it not only helps the youth by reducing depression, it creates a flow of positive long term effects, like amplifying a confident attitude towards academics and lower high school dropouts; it encourages social and emotional development leading to better lifestyle choices. As a mentor, you will beam with enormous pride when you see someone succeed because of your support.

I will leave you with this quote by Oprah Winfrey, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

To become a mentor, visit TheMentorConnector.com and connect with one of our talented staff and be on your way to change a youth’s life. Can’t become a mentor, but want to help? Give us a call at 802-775-3434 to see what else you can do to help support this movement.

Margot Cebo, Mentor Ambassador of the Mentor Connector

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