What Mentoring Taught Me…

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.


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