A mentor can play a variety of roles in the lives of many young people. They could be an extra friend, a teacher, a life coach, an advocate. Whatever their relationship to the child may be, the time a mentor spends greatly impacts the youth in our community.
At DREAM, we provide youth mentoring programs to the Omaha, NE community. We are constantly searching for mentors who share similar characteristics and are excited about making a difference in our community. Below are some qualities of a good mentor in which we look for in everyone we hire.
One of the most important qualities a mentor must express is the ability to vigilantly listen to others. In a time in our world where it may seem easy to get distracted, a good mentor must be able to actively listen to whomever they are meeting with. Mentoring sessions are not the time for mentors to look at their phones or check their email. A good mentor will ask questions, invest in the conversation and give mentees silence when needed.
Encourage mentees to step out of their comfort zone
Everyone has their own “zone” or area in which they feel comfortable doing or saying things. Every mentor should strive to get others out of that comfort zone in order to experience new things, learn and grow. A good mentor will ease children out of that comfort zone by identifying steps in which they can comfortably grow. Adversity helps children grow and learn new skills in life, which is an essential part of youth mentoring programs.
Help develop life skills
One of the basics when it comes to youth mentoring programs is to help children learn and establish new life skills. For a mentor to do this efficiently, he or she should help the mentee set goals, teach them to overcome challenges, and teach techniques in which children will learn how to control their emotions and thoughts.
Remember specific details about their mentee
A good mentor will be someone who truly learns about their mentee and what has happened in their life. Anyone can remember names, favorite foods and hobbies. But a good mentor will remember what youth have specifically experienced in their life and will help them grow from those experiences.
Provide good feedback
Everyone benefits from feedback. Whether it’s in school, sports, or life, feedback allows people to gain knowledge, grow, and practice new skills. A good mentor should be an expert when it comes to giving feedback. By giving positive feedback that does not degrade the mentee, mentors are able to identify actions which allows for improvement.
Strengthen interpersonal skills and relationships
Lastly, a good youth mentor should put much focus on strengthening the interpersonal skills and relationships of their mentees. Good youth mentors should be encouraging youth to accept diversity and show respect for themselves, their friends, and their families.
Youth mentoring programs are designed to give at-risk children an extra friend, teacher, and someone they can look up to in their life. Good youth mentors should be doing all of the above to ensure they are effectively making an impact in the lives of their mentees.
At DREAM, we offer youth mentoring programs to help at-risk youth in our community. To learn more about our program, or any of the programs we offer, give us a call at 402-315-1500 or visit our website today!