“Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into adulthood. By setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing our Nation’s youth for a bright future. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation, and we recommit to expanding mentorship opportunities across our country.” -President Barack Obama
The hope of a new year is often accompanied with the hope of new and endless possibilities. From deciding to visit the gym three times a week to reading a book once a month, hundreds of thousands of varying resolutions are made and goals are committed to across the nation. One commitment in particular that our community of volunteers has selflessly and caringly dedicated themselves to year after year is AALEAD’s Mentoring Program. Our mentor-mentee pairs are part of the reason why, even on gloomy days such as this, the AALEAD family continues to grow stronger and develop together each and every day, bringing our own unique brand of sunshine with us wherever we go.
“I got the chance to meet a really cool, really special kid. And the chance to go do some fun things that adults with busy work schedules don’t normally get to do. I found myself really looking forward to my outings and conversations with my mentee, even if they weren’t always easy!” -Anne, Mentor
“I have much better insights into the challenges facing today’s pre-adolescents. There are a lot of social, academic, and family pressures on our mentees. I appreciate her gifts and continue to want to help her face her challenges.” -Beadsie, Mentor
“My mentee is a very energetic, kind hearted, open minded, family oriented young man who was very easy to get along with and try new things with. Glad to have someone I could experience some new foods with and hangout and play basketball.” -Edison, Mentor
“I just had an amazing time being a mentor and acknowledge AALEAD for doing an outstanding job and creating a platform for young people that provides them with support and guidance.” -Krupa, Mentor
“I gained an opportunity to think beyond myself and my life.” -Leena, Mentor
“I feel great about the mentoring program. It makes my life different, since I have a mentor who I can talk with when I am sad. It helps me a lot!” -Yuqiong, Mentee
In honor of National Mentoring Month, an annual media campaign that outreaches for mentor volunteers for young people, we will be highlighting quotes, stories, and photographs submitted by our one and only mentor-mentee pairs. The impacts that our mentors have made on the lives of their mentees have not only pushed our youth to succeed and continue to reach their full potential, but they have also helped cultivate the community that AALEAD is today. We are proud to say that our Mentors have truly set the bar for making a New Year’s resolution and committing to that goal throughout the year and beyond. Even more so, we are thankful for our loving and encouraging Mentors, who have inspired our students with the confidence to share their stories, the strength to create positive change in our communities, and the hope to believe in new and endless possibilities year in and year out.
This post is dedicated to all of our former and current Mentors: AALEAD would not be where we are today without your friendship, brilliance, and support. Thank you, and Happy National Mentoring Month!
Photo Credit: Melor Suhaimi
Photo & Quote Credit: National Mentoring Month Website