I had the opportunity this month to attend both Launch (a camp for new students and mentors) and Boost (a camp for our existing student/mentor matches). As I got to know the mentors at both events, I admired their dedication and selflessness and started to wonder how they got to this point in their life? Why did they decide to volunteer?
There are still a few people who believe they have control of their own destinies, pull the levers of their lives without help from others, that they alone are responsible for their successes. However, I believe nothing any of us has done has been done alone. We get help, support, MENTORSHIP, inspiration, and energy from others! Who helped you to where you are now? Who gave you advice? Who took a chance on you and hired you? I think about this every day, not because I am such a grateful person, but because I wonder where I would be at in my life without these mentors.
All of us have been affected in one way or another by the help, support and mentorship a specific individual or COMMUNITY has provided to and for us. Our mentors are behind, beside, and below us to push, catch and pull us as needed. Yes, we all have goals, ideas and passion, but without the support of mentors and community, it can be a difficult path to climb alone.
I am so very excited to watch this new group of mentors as they work with their students for the next one to four years. Each student/mentor relationship is unique, with its own combination of inputs, experiences, and results. Even so, there is one commonality which is the same for each pair: the positive, life-changing impact Community for Youth has on both the student and the volunteer adult mentor.
As we careen through life, our orbits, trajectories, and perspectives are changed, for good or bad, by every encounter with people and their experiences. But we know certain people have influenced and helped you more than others. So let those people know what an impact they made on your life their mentorship was successful! Then you try to help anyone that asks you for help, not because you expect something in return, but because that is what your mentors did for you. Pay it forwards. Pay it backwards. Pay it sideways. Give thanks for the help we got and continue to get and for the ability to give help when we can. This is what propels us. This is the fuel for our lives.