Education

Mentors make a difference

The practice of mentoring goes back thousands of years. In ancient Greece, Socrates mentored Plato, who went on to mentor Aristotle.

In modern times, we find mentors in all walks of life, from schoolyards and sports arenas, to corporations and churches, at small agencies and big organizations.

In the grander scheme of things, we’re all mentors — and we’re all mentees. We’re all in a place where we are either influencing someone else or someone else is influencing us.

At the Studer Community Institute, we’re in the formative stages of a mentoring program to match young mothers with mentoring moms.

As the Institute’s Parent Outreach Coordinator, I’ve spend a lot of time meeting and talking with people, analyzing and evaluating programs, and developing and creating relationships with folks involved in and with early education.

A key part of my efforts has been building relationships and creating partnerships to be in the best position to offer parents support to help develop the tools and skills to improve their children’s lives.

A mother-to-mother mentorship would be another step in that direction.

Ideally, mothers will be paired together based on their unique needs, struggles and strengths. Mentors provide intentional support to their mentees to provide one-on-one advice and an opportunity for candid dialogue on the challenges and questions tied to balancing motherhood.

The mentorship would cover a broad range of topics, from balancing career and family, to finding the best child care, and talking to managers about career goals of course, the best ways to help develop a baby’s brain.

If we can reach some moms of this generation, we can reach the children of the next generation.

A mentor can be the difference between success and failure. To have someone with perspective and experience is vitally important in building confidence and pathways to success.
Mentors can become the influential surrogate that allows mentees to think through difficult challenges together, break down barriers and open doors where necessary.

Mentors, sometimes intentionally — often unknowingly, plant seeds of wisdom in the hearts of others. They teach with their lives.

On the website, “The MOM Initiative,” a blog post outlined the importance of mentoring, specifically mothers mentoring other moms.

The question was asked: What does a mentor do, anyway?

— Mentors make themselves available. Often on the lookout for how they can pour some seed of encouragement into others and many times unintentionally, mentors are available to love on others.

— Mentors see the best in others and do their best to bring it out. It’s easy to see people where they are, but mentors see people for where they can be and are willing to hold their hand through the journey from who they are to who they were created to be.

— Mentors sacrifice to make a difference. It’s not always easy or convenient to foster mentor relationships with others, but mentors understand their calling may cost them something and they are willing to do it anyway.

— Mentors are discerning. Mentors understand influence doesn’t always happen sitting at a table with a book in one hand and a pen in the other. They are able to discern when an ordinary circumstance becomes a real life teaching moment and they make the most of each one.

It’s not always easy to be a mentor but it’s what we are called to. So, who will rise up and become women who will help other young women and understand that they were born for such a time as this? The next generation awaits your response and their faith hangs in the balance. As a mentor, you can change this world – one mom at a time.

Mentors make a difference. Will you?

If you want help or know someone who has ideas, suggestions or just want to talk about SCI’s labor of love in early learning, email rdogan@studeri.org, or call (850) 529-6485.