This holiday season we are using the Mentor Minute to celebrate mentors and the positive impact of mentoring in our communities! And, we’re doing that by focusing on words that we typically see or hear around this time of year. Words like joy, hope, peace, and light.

We want to share how one hour a week with a student can bring so much joy and hope and peace and even light into their lives (and ours). In my experience as a mentor, I have personally seen how that one hour can bring joy to a student’s life and “light” to their day. When you walk into a room and see their face light up when they see you, you can see the joy they feel because of your commitment and care for them. This is one of the reasons why we can never underestimate the value of a mentoring relationship!

Just listen to this story and word of encouragement recently shared by Annie, one of our local Be the One mentor coordinators…

A student and mentor tried Zoom for the first time. At the end of the meeting, I asked how it went and if they wanted to Zoom again. The mentee exclaimed, “Yes! I missed her so much!” This came as a big shock to the mentor. Last year, the mentor was worried that the student had lost interest since they had not emailed like some of the other matches. Mentors can underestimate the value they bring to their student. A consistent, caring adult is a simple concept, but highly desirable for any student!

Mentors, remember that your mentee values you! They are learning how to work remotely and are on their computers most the school day. The majority of students read your emails, but are too tired to respond, or forget to come back to them. Their lack of response is not a reflection of your value as their mentor. If they cannot attend a Zoom session with you, it has so much more to do with their life circumstances than their view of you. Continue to be there for them, even if they cannot fully be there for you. Keep writing those emails. Keep rescheduling those Zoom calls. Keep telling them they matter. You all are doing a great job (even though it looks differently this year). Keep up the good work!

Finally, I’d like to share one more word of encouragement from a student about the impact mentoring has had in her life…

“When I am having a hard time or a really stressful time, I get to go to my mentor and forget about all my problems, or even talk it through with them. Most of the time we play games or exchange surprise treats for each other. It honestly feels like I have a best friend outside of school who can come visit. Even if it’s just an hour it feels like a whole day with my mentor. So I appreciate Amber for being there for me and listening to my problems, and being a fun, loveable, and understanding person.” – FHS Senior

We are thankful for the opportunities that we have had to mentor in the midst of all of the challenges that we’ve faced in 2020. And, we are excited to continue making a difference in our communities through Be the One in 2021!