A first-hand account

By Abdias Dalisma

So what does it mean to be a mentor?  I’ve had many mentors growing up and still do to this day. In high school, my graphics communication teacher was a mentor motivating me to pursue a design-based career, because she knew I had the potential. Some traits that describe a mentor in my experience are encouraging towards your success and inspiring you to be motivated. I was fortunate to be surrounded by mentors who are positive influences, that brought me to where I am today. And I must say, so far, my experience of being a student has been pretty good because of it. One of the outcomes of investing time, thought, and skills with another individual is the opportunity to witness a life being transformed for the better. There is value and gratitude that can be found in mentoring.

There are students in schools right in your own community that are in need of a mentor. Most of them can be found, but are not limited to Title I schools. These schools are established around “improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged”. Schools like these are filled with students that are lacking a positive direction in life. How do I know? Well, I was one of them until mentors came into the picture. I was a student that needed some encouragement from time to time, a little bit of one on one interaction with professionals, and someone to inspire me to see a brighter future than what statistics said I could become. Mentors gave me hope under disadvantaged circumstances. And there are more students like me in schools all over this nation who are in need of an advocate that gives them an extra push.

Many of these kids, teens and young adults are lacking direction, but with positive influences they can potentially become someone great. We all know at least one person who needs a mentor, and we should do something about it. That young man or woman, whose current lifestyle is leading in a path that will probably have them stuck in the “disadvantaged” category for the remainder of their life. Their lives can take a turn for the better if only a mentor would intervene. And that mentor could possibly be you. For those who are passionate about what they do as profession, share your passion with integrity, with a student or young adult that just needs to be inspired.

Be a mentor and change a life.