Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mentoring in Action

In continuing our recognition of National Mentoring Month, we asked two of our exceptional Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS) mentors to talk about their experience as mentors.

From Mentor, Susan: The value of mentoring in my life… It's an unexplainable feeling when the words "I don't want to do this" (something my mentee said once, shutting a book) and "I'm not smart enough" slowly start shifting to "Can we read that?" and "Can I try that on my own?" It's a struggle, and it's not happening overnight. I've been a mentor to the same young girl for 7 years through VIPS, and I dedicate my Saturday afternoons to being her "big sister". There is a building-up that is happening - of self-esteem, of self-worth. Sure, our time together is limited, but the change in her language shows me that it is having a lasting effect. That is what it is all about—making a difference in her life and the difference she makes in mine each time she turns to me and says, "Thank you."

From Mentor, Rory: Seeing a person grow and make good decisions as a result of your nurturing and influence is most gratifying. Mentoring is a personal connection, through which you become more connected with the community. And the rewards are mutual; the relationship has as much a positive impact on you, the mentor. I highly value the time I spend mentoring and it brings me much joy.

Visit the Volunteer Center Mentoring Page or to see how you can get involved and become a mentor today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the third year that I've been working as a voulnteer for AARP preparing income tax returns for the elderly and those with limited income. It's interesting, and rewarding for both the volunteer and the recipients. I would encourage others to chose a volunteer activity and see what I'm talking about.