Why Every School District Should Have a Mentorship Program

Growing up, I didn’t have a mentor- someone that could truly guide me in the right direction. Going to school with all the pressure of getting good grades and making sure I practice basketball was rough. I didn’t have someone that could tell me that everything was going to be fine, so I just had this extreme pressure on myself that I need to be the best that I could possibly be. Around the age of 17, I was part of a community group and was introduced to a man who happens to be my mentor now and since then, the past couple years have been different. Not only have I been more career- focused than ever but I am able to handle the pressure of what is put on me. It feels as though I’m able to pursue things, do things and perform better in a way that I never thought I could.

Since we started our business, we have gotten a lot of opportunities and one that we couldn’t pass up was becoming mentors to students. One day we were pitching our idea to a forward thinking school district. As we were leaving, the woman stopped us and told us about a program that allows us to be mentors to middle school students. A couple weeks later, they gave us a mentee and at that moment I realized that I was the person that was going to be mentoring this young student. Coming into it, I knew I wanted to share my experiences with my mentee so that he wouldn’t have to deal with what I did.

When I met my mentee, I didn’t know what to do, he was very shy and he didn’t really want to connect and often when I showed up to the school, he didn’t wanna talk. Then, after some time, we were able to connect in a way that I thought we wouldn’t. He was able to speak to me about his passions, talk about what he wanted to do, and we discovered that we shared an interest in basketball. Later, when he came to me with some problems, we were able to talk about it. From the beginning, I thought I was just helping him out, but truly he was helping me out because I was breaking another barrier in my life where I didn’t enjoy sharing my feelings. Now that we’ve connected, sharing what’s on my mind and what I’ve gone through is much easier. I’m hoping through my experiences, I can help to guide him through his life.

My mentee is very young and I hope that through the time that we’ve spent and the conversations we’ve had that he’ll take those moments and use them to benefit him in the future. We’ve set goals, and for the next 4 years through high school, I’m hoping that he pursues those goals and has a mindset that he can do anything. Moving forward on to college and beyond, I hope when he experiences new things, he’s able to use what he’s learned to excel. I know that he can get through anything, pursue anything, and definitely set a goal and get things done. I’m hoping my influence on him has an impact for the rest of his life because my mentor has for me and I don’t know where I’d be without him.

In conclusion, I would like to say that every school district should have a mentor and me program. Every student needs an impact on their life and if they’re not getting it from home, then the school is the next best option. It’s so important to have someone that could show them that they could get through anything, as well as share those experiences that the mentor has gone through to guide the student to not make the same mistakes. Also, this shows how helpful it is to set goals and truly influence that student towards reaching for more. Every student matters and it is up to us to lead the next generation in the right direction.

Edited by Morgan Nyren

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