January is National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. Its goals are to:
* Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms;
* Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have a waiting list of young people;
* Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring.
The Harvard Mentoring Project is joining with National Mentoring Month launching on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Thank Your Mentor Day™. The theme for Thank Your Mentor Day is "Who mentored you? Thank them…and pass it on!"
The idea behind "Who mentored you?" is to help people connect to the importance of mentoring by encouraging them to think about individuals in their lives during their formative years—family members, teachers, coaches, neighbors, employers, friends—who encouraged them, showed them the ropes, and helped them become who they are today. The campaign's message is that, today, too many young people do not get enough of that kind of support; mentoring programs can help fill the gap but need more volunteers.
I had many mentors in my life...all seemed to be teachers. First I found this special encouragement in elementary and secondary school where a select few helped me find my confidence and my "smartness" when I didn't even know it was there. As I grew, teachers continued to be a great source of support for me. College, Graduate School and Postdoctoral Graduate School. In each place, there was someone who took my developing skills and helped me evolve. Shared their wisdom, their time, and their devotion. Now, in my role as professor in the university where I teach, I am now the mentor. I find great joy in it and love to "Pay It Forward".
Mentoring is a present you give to others and a gift that you give yourself.