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 www.whomentoredyou.org to see how you can get involved and become a mentor today.