In my short four years of mentoring, especially in the city of Chicago I tend to hear this alot, “Our kids need mentoring the most!” Do I argue with this no, however I have never discriminated against who needs mentoring more than others. You see if you left it up to me, ALL kids need mentoring. I meet teens from all walks of life, rich, poor, white, black, good grades, bad grades…and I’ve discovered that regardless of their background youth still need social & emotional learning and intelligence. Anger, depression, negative thoughts, bullying, etc has no preference. Being raised in the south suburbs of IL most people assumed we didn’t need mentoring, because we had a good community, good school system, and good grades. Was it great? Not really! But who needs great when “good is good enough!” After all, we should save mentors for the communities & school systems that are bad, right? WRONG!
I personally didn’t attend the best High School, but I was proud of my school and I played well with the life cards that were dealt to me. Not everyone around me went to college, not everyone around me skipped the “teenage mom” phase and not everyone around me is working in their passion. I remember having a heart to heart moment with mentees as I cried reflecting on how much further I would be if I had a me. Mentorship is not a “give back” for the less fortunate, true mentorship forward approach for building future leaders & strong minds! What separated me from the crowd was not my circumstances, it was my mindset. The minds of our youth have appeared to become weak, due to their gravitating social media desires and their inability to transpire and push through life circumstances. That is why suicidal thoughts of our young teens are skyrocketing like never before. If their mind is weak, then their future leadership will be weak. In a study done by Girl Scout Research Inst.,, The State of Girls: Unfinished Business – Girls’ Leadership they found that “53 percent of African American girls surveyed expressed a desire to be leaders as compared to 50 percent of Hispanic girls and 34 percent of Caucasian girls. African American girls were also the most likely group of girls to consider themselves to be leaders (75 percent), and the most likely to have leadership experience (78 percent). African American and Latina girls rated themselves more highly on “leadership skills” than white girls did. Yet “opportunities for leadership are scarce” for girls, even today.” View Source Here
We stress for our girls to go far in life and become the leader we desire them to be, but we fail to provide consistent opportunities to cultivate their minds & emotions so they may be able to walk freely in leadership.
Mentorship holds many definitions depending on who you ask and individuals get involved in mentoring for many different reasons. Here at DCAS, we like to say that our mentoring is like teen life coaching. Our mentors our Youth Leaders who serve as a role models, but also provide guidance with sound strategies to help teens create change within their mind, which will then transfer to being a leader within their life educationally, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
#YouthLeader #Speaker #TravelingMentor
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