I Am A Mentor Day
In celebration of “I Am A Mentor” Day, we asked two of our all star mentors to share a bit about their experience as a mentor, what effect it has had on them and any tips they might have for those considering becoming a mentor…
“Be accessible. Be yourself. Be genuinely interested in your mentee as an individual. Share your insights.”
Marlo’s Mentoring Story
I stumbled across Walk with Sally a few years ago when I moved back to the South Bay. I was searching for a way to become involved in the community and positively impact our younger generation. Since my discovery two years ago, I’ve learned that Walk with Sally is much more than a charity, and I am proud to join the incredible employees and volunteers who share in the mission to make a difference in the world, one child at a time.
As a mentor, volunteer, and FTK Social Club board member, I have made new friends and connected with so many driven and inspiring individuals — one of whom is my amazing Mentee!
The team at Walk with Sally got it right when they paired us. We share similar interests such as spending time at the beach, stuffing our face with sushi, and getting pampered at the nail salon. We laugh with each other and many times at each other. We often joke how we are the same person; she is just half my age. Understanding what my Mentee has experienced throughout her young life, and her perseverance to rise above and excel, makes me strive to be a better version of myself. It makes me so proud to share and recognize her for her accomplishments. This year she made the high school volleyball team, secured for her first job, earned her driver’s license, and became a Junior Mentor at WWS, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA!
I believe the key to being a good mentor is remaining a positive and consistent force in your mentee’s life. Be accessible. Be yourself. Be genuinely interested in your mentee as an individual. Share your insights. Be patient with yourself and the process. Act as a sounding board. Provide a fresh perspective. Acknowledge achievements. And, have fun!
Reflecting on the experience, as my Mentee and I approach our one year mark, it is evident that the trust and ease of our relationship only grows. I look forward to our everlasting friendship.
– Marlo, Matched with Kristina on February 25, 2017
Brian’s Mentoring Story
I first heard about WWS through a friend of mine who mentioned that she had recently become a mentor, and told me about what a fantastic organization WWS is. I wanted to get involved because my father passed away from cancer when I was 13 years old, and I know how hard it is to be a kid in that situation. The mission of WWS deeply resonated with my own personal experience, and I wanted to be able to be there as somebody to relate to for a child going through such a difficult experience.
My favorite thing about my mentee is his sense of humor, and his ability to keep such a positive attitude. He loves telling jokes and being goofy, which I think is a great quality to have. My favorite experience with him has been surfing on the weekends in Manhattan Beach. It has been a lot of fun to watch him grow and improve upon his skills in the water. The most important thing that I want him to know is that I am going to be here for him in both good times and bad.
Being a part of the WWS community has been such an amazing experience, because it is great big support system for all of us to lean on and to relate to. For anyone who is just starting out as a mentor I would say to be patient. The WWS mentor/mentee relationship is unlike any that you have ever had before. It can be a bit awkward or uncomfortable at first, but it is important to give it time and to keep expectations in check as friendships can take a little while to cultivate. The best tip that I can give to be a great mentor is take an interest in what your mentee is interested in even if it is something that is unfamiliar to you. He/she will take notice and be very grateful for it. It may just be the key to help them feel comfortable enough to open up.
– Brian, Matched with Liam on June 6, 2017
Inspired? Interested in becoming a mentor?