I hope you all have had an incredible week so far! I don’t know how the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods (who even says that expression anymore, haha?!) but over here, it’s been quite nice with a whole lot of rain.
Regardless of the stormy times, it felt necessary to cheer things up with a blog post about something dear to me. Today, I’m excited to share with you a new idea that you might want to consider if you have not already: mentoring!
Perhaps you may ask yourself, what can I possibly teach or give unto someone else? I have discovered that each individual has something to contribute, whether that be to humans, animals, the environment, or to another being, that will bring more peace, more understanding, and more clarity to the world.
Let’s get into it!
P. S. I will be using the metaphor of a plant to guide this post. Enjoy!
The Seed of Starting
Last year, I began tutoring low-income kids through a program at my school. A friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in helping her out, and I happily agreed. I would go once a week on Saturdays to tutor kids on basic elementary level homework and skills.
Originally, I just tutored a few times a month until the school year ended, and my friend started to search for a new program leader who would take charge of the program. Unexpectedly, one June or July day, truly I can’t quite remember, my friend sent me a text asking if I could lead the program. Sure! Why not? I thought.
So this August, at the start of the school year, I began scheduling the tutoring dates, making announcements to get both tutors and children involved in the program, and trying my best to manage everything. The work felt like a lot, but reminding myself of the greater purpose would once again motivate me: instructing the kids, teaching them to move past any academic obstacles, and ultimately be an encouraging role model.
Each person has some talent, knowledge, or gift that another being can always benefit from. Use what you know, what you have, and your time to better others.
One job of mine has always stayed consistent: being a tutor. During our Saturday tutoring sessions, after checking in all of the tutors and children, I would sit down and begin working the kids with their homework. These are my most cherished times, as I get to understand the kids better. They share their favorite subjects, extra-curriculars, what motivates them to study, and their future aspirations, showing me how to boost their confidence and remind them to overcome any educational setbacks they might have.
This love for tutoring encourages me to share with you all the message that you can be a mentor or tutor or teacher for someone else. Each person has some talent, knowledge, or gift that another being can always benefit from. Use what you know, what you have, and your time to better others.
The Sprouting of the Plant
I have shared my story. Now it’s time to create yours! Perhaps you already do this; amazing job! You may also already be a mentor to someone and not even realize it. Each time you share advice, offer a helping hand, or extend your time for the sake of someone else, that’s practicing benevolence.
Here are some ways that you can start mentoring, tutoring, or helping others that don’t require extensive searching:
- Think about your friends, neighbors, family, etc. Perhaps you know that your niece is starting college and that she may need your support, love, and advice for the years ahead. Maybe you know someone in your office who just started and could use someone to teach them the lay of the land. Whoever that person may be, don’t wait to reach out! Text them now. Invite them out to that really tasty frozen yogurt place. Ask to FaceTime them. You have more valuable advice to give than you know. These small moments make incredible impacts.
- Search the bulletin boards at your church, coffeeshop, or school. When I’m waiting in line for coffee, I often look at the bulletin boards where a whole bunch of ads for help with tutoring, baby-sitting, dog-walking, and other activities. You may find something interesting that you can pursue. In church bulletins, they often advertise for help with planning events, fundraising, or youth ministry. Often overlooked, these places have remarkable programs that not only get you helping others but also allow you the opportunity to get to know your community better.
- Volunteermatch.org! Writing an article about service opportunities for my school newspaper, I spoke with my school’s Director of Service. I asked her where to begin and she recommended people go to volunteermatch.org. This website lets you find service opportunities that you will want to do in your area. You can filter your results based on your preferences. Check it out!
- Send that email! When I first began volunteering for service hours in middle school, I often just found organizations in my area where I thought I could be of help. I just sent them an email telling them that I was interested in volunteering and the dates and times that worked best for me. Maybe you pass by an animal shelter that you’ve always wanted to help at, or your neighbor told you about an awesome soup kitchen that needs more volunteers. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to reach out— chances are, they are probably in need of more volunteers!
The Plant Blooms and Grows
Phew. What a long post! This story and information felt important to share wholly and with the right attention and length it needs. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed it and either are ready to start or excited to continue!
Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate you all so much, and can’t wait to here about your experiences through mentoring, tutoring, volunteering, etc. Remember that no acts of selflessness or kindness ever goes unnoticed or is unnecessary. The world needs doers of benevolence, even if their actions feel small.
Have a wonderful week!
Quote of the post:
“Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.” ~Unknown
One thought on “Become a Mentor”
Another great post, Victoria! I had an interesting experience in volunteering for my organization with youth aging out of foster care. We had a baby shower for a young woman and meeting her encouraged me to continue the relationship after the shower. That has developed into a very nice friendship in which I am fortunate to be able to mentor her but even more fortunate in what I received back from this bright and loving young woman as well as her young child. It has added a wonderful aspect of my life and I can see the impact it’s had on her with her decision making and willingness to continue her studies. Thank you for your fine blogs as well as you are wonderful work volunteering and mentoring.