I had the pleasure of mentoring a Freshman at a local high school this school year. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I had an awesome time. Here’s what I learned from my mentee (this is the brief version of it):
It’s naive for us to expect this generation of kids to act and behave the way we did. Lets be clear: This is not to say that they shouldn’t be respectful. What I learned is that they are facing new challenges. None of which I faced as a high school student. None of which I have faced as an adult. The mentoring program works with kids that are facing homelessness or experiencing homelessness.
We can’t continue to put our youth in a box and expect them to turn out a certain (the way we think they should). If I must say so myself, these kids are very creative. Yes, they may use their creativity in the wrong ways sometimes but they are still creative. I think we should foster this creativity and see how much positive can come from it.
High school is different from when I was in school. It’s almost a “generational” shock. They have a childcare facility. I’m not sure how I feel about this. While I understand the concept, I still have to sort through how I really feeling on this.
I find it so disheartening that so many kids have very few role models and very little guidance. However, I’m happy I was chosen to be a mentor to provide that guidance. It made me more thankful for the role models I had growing up.