Mentoring: A PerspectiveJuly 23, 2020
By: Future Endeavors
If there is one thing that many adults can agree on, it’s that adolescents and children alike should have good influences around. Specifically, an influencer whose job is to advise, motivate, and support them as a mentor. It’s well known that adolescents go through crucial developmental stages where their judgement, beliefs, and understanding are all put into question. The important decisions they make during this period may begin to form into habits, which is precisely why having a mentor is extremely beneficial. Mentoring not only helps young people individually, it can also inspire them to engage in activities throughout their communities. Therefore, it’s essential to provide them with a supportive outlet that they can rely on for stability when things get tough. Having these opportunities and support structures is what helps adolescents to find hobbies, learn what they enjoy, and discover what they’re willing to work hard for. This also leads to better habits in the workplace which is proven by the fact that, “Mentees are promoted 5 times more often than those without mentors.”(Quast, L.) Simply put, many more opportunities present themselves when a young person has a mentor. It’s a simple step that can lead to a better lifestyle and brighter future.
The Need for Mentoring
There isn’t a single person alive who doesn’t know that society has problems. Some choose to ignore, exploit, excuse, or resign themselves to them, but we all know these problems exist. The difference between the privileged and the under-privileged is how many of these problems a group is affected by and to what degree. There are many individuals, especially children, who either due to a lack of resources or guidance can’t seem to overcome these often invisible barriers which stand between them and their dreams. Countless research studies have shown how a person’s skin color, sex and gender, and socio-economic background can lead to dramatic differences in education, job opportunities, social mobility, and treatment by law enforcement. All of these obstacles, pitfalls, and disparities create a sort of chaos that can be difficult to navigate. It is also often the case that some people finally manage to make progress before being dragged backwards by financial difficulties, family/relationship struggles, health concerns (both mental and physical), and regressionist politicians (and citizens). This is often colloquially known as “the whirlpool effect” or “one step forward, two steps back.”
One of the most notable things to distinguish human beings from every other living creature is our incredible ability to solve problems. If our ancestors were cold, they built a fire or shelter. If they wanted protection, they built walls. Farms were better than constant hunting, and cities were better than the temporary camps of nomadic tribes. That progress continued to accelerate and flourish until it gave us the wonders of modern medicine and technology. Yet despite all of that progress, some extremely significant questions still remain. How do we fix the problems of society? Moreover, how do we help those most affected by those problems? One of the best answers we’ve found to those questions is: mentoring. It’s a concept that is both simple in its premise and profound in its impact.
We take those who have struggled and stumbled their way forward and we turn them into guides for the other people looking to make their way. We take their knowledge, experience, and mistakes and turn them into a set of guidelines. These guidelines are rarely perfect, but they can make a world of difference to those who feel lost or left behind. The tiniest of nudges can help send a person in the right direction. Often, all it takes is to show someone that it can be done; that it has been done. So, how do we make the world a better place? By helping its people to be better. How do we help people to become better? By reducing the gap between them and progress. That’s what we at Future Endeavors and so many other organizations are striving to do. We exist in order to reduce that gap and help people to spend their time and talents more wisely.
Growing up in Baltimore is a challenge within itself. A lot of people within Baltimore’s communities have either given up hope, or lost faith in their beloved city. In 2012, a group of individuals from Baltimore City decided to come together and start a non-profit organization called “Future Endeavors.” Our goal is to help the people of Baltimore realize their inner strength and potential. If we can succeed in that goal, then we’ll be well on our way to forging a brighter future. To begin our journey of helping our communities, the Future Endeavors team has created different programs and services to help guide, mentor, and bring strength and potential back to the people of our beloved city. One such program we have developed is a book club called “The Peaceful Readers.” The purpose of the Peaceful Readers Book Club is to help children and adults enhance their reading skills as well as their reading comprehension. Another one of our initiatives is a health and wellness program, the purpose of which is to promote the health-conscious behavior of individuals and communities. The idea is that if we can change people’s attitudes regarding health and wellness, we can inspire them to make substantive changes which will result in improvements. We have also dedicated ourselves to volunteer as mentors at Sarah’s Hope Women and Children Shelter monthly. During our time there, we create educational games for the children to help with their reading and math skills. We also have group discussions along with the parents about different life skills and behaviors such as Anti-Bullying, Mental and Physical Health, and Career Goals. Our team has also hosted numerous seminars that we felt would be of particular interest for the youth (as well as many adults). Examples of these seminars include our Financial Literacy workshop, as well as our Domestic Violence workshops hosted in cooperation with the House of Ruth.
As we continue in our goal to effect positive changes, the Future Endeavors team is always planning for the future. Going forward, we would like to create educational opportunities and tutoring programs for students. We would also like to develop summer camp programs for inner city youth. We love and care for the people of Baltimore City and will do whatever it takes to see the city that we love rise to even greater heights.
Quast, Lisa. “How Becoming A Mentor Can Boost Your Career.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 21 Aug. 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2011/10/31/how-becoming-a-mentor-can-boost-your-career/#237fec45f578.