Teen Challenge - How do I find a Mentor?

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog?


Have you had a chance to touch base with that teen in your life yet? Maybe check in with them and ask them if they could be anything, what would they be?


January's Theme - National Mentoring Month

According to Mentoring.org, National Mentoring Month is based on a movement to raise awareness about the power of relationships and how they can help young people succeed.


Like I talked about in my November post about Making Choices, Teen Resource - Other people teens can talk to about tough choices, mentors are people who have real world experience in something your teen may have an interest in pursuing. A mentor may be able to give your teen some advice or help them get there.


In November I launched a Mentor page on my website dedicated to this topic. On this page, I include some mentoring thoughts related to my chosen monthly blog theme. Here is a link to that page. Selma P. Verde - Mentor Page.


How do I find a mentor?

Last week in the Book of the Month post, I presented Mr. John Keating from Dead Poets Society as an example of a mentor. He told his students to seize the day and follow their passions. We saw that his students learned a little bit about themselves by doing this, but he wasn't really directing individual students in their own journey.


When you ask your teen what they want to be or what activity they may want to pursue, do you know how to help them do it? If not, having them check in with a mentor who may be able to help them could be beneficial.


To have your teen find a mentor may seem like a difficult task, but knowing who and what to ask for are two of the main pieces to the puzzle. This is something they should be actively involved in pursuing. As a parent, you can be there to support them, but having them do the process of finding a mentor on their own will empower them to take on whatever they ultimately want to achieve.

Steps to finding a mentor

According to the Roots Of Action website, here are some things for your teen to consider in finding a mentor.

  • Understand why an adult wants to mentor a teen

  • Define your goals and the challenges you see yourself facing

  • Find a mentor who knows you

  • Ask for what you want

  • Help build a positive relationship that benefits you and the mentor

Purpose of mentoring a youth

An adult mentor for a teen wants them to ultimately succeed in life. They can become a trusted confidant and a cheerleader for your teen to pursue what they want to achieve. They can help guide them on how to get there, but the teen needs to understand they need to do the work.


Define Goals and Challenges

To have someone help you get to where you want to go or to reach for a dream you have always had, one must define their goals and challenges.


Let's say that you wanted to find a mentor who could help you become an airline pilot.


Goal - to become an airline pilot


Challenges you may see to becoming one

Money to pay for training - a mentor may be able to give you some ideas where to find financial aid

Choosing a place to train or go to school - a mentor may be able to recommend a place to you for flight training. They may have experience at a certain school to share or may have some contacts who have gone to different schools and may be able to help you find one that works for you.

Best way to go about training to become a pilot? - a mentor may be able to talk to you about whether a four year degree program would be best or completing training at a flight school


Find a mentor who knows you

You may know someone who is an airline pilot already. They may be able to talk to you about what it takes to become a pilot and maybe even become your mentor. If they are unable to for some reason, they may be a great resource to finding a mentor who is.


Ask for what you want

Be sure you ask the mentor or the one helping you find a mentor for what you want. If you want to become an airline pilot, be sure you are getting someone to help you in that area. If the person you are working with knows all about being a military pilot, it may not be much help if becoming an airline pilot is the direction you want to go. The military pilot may be able to refer you to someone who can help you become an airline pilot, but if you are sure to ask for what you want up front, then you can get on the right track from the start.


Help build a positive relationship

The success of any mentoring relationship is to build a positive and trusting one. Mentoring is not a one sided relationship. Be sure to ask questions and exchange ideas with them. If things don't seem to be working between you and the mentor you chose to work with, try to work out the issue with that mentor or terminate the relationship and find another one.


Where do I look for a Mentor?

The where do I look question is another big part of this process. You don't just want to do an internet search and see if you can find one. Here are some ideas of places to start your search from.

Talk to your guidance counselor for referrals

Sometimes teachers, coaches and counselors could make great mentors depending on what you are trying to achieve. Your guidance counselor at school may have some ideas on who could be someone you could reach out to or could help you find a mentor.


Mentoring organizations

Mentoring.org has the Mentoring Connector. This search engine will refer you to come local programs to look into to find a potential mentor. This resource will give you a starting point on where to look and who to talk to.


Attend Job Fairs

This option is a great way for you to network and learn more about what you are trying to achieve. Talk to some of the employers or companies that are doing what you want to do. They may be able to set you up with someone you can talk to. This person may even become a mentor, but if not, you now have a contact with that company who can give you information to find a mentor or even a future job.


Mentors want to help you

Mentors want to help teens and young adults succeed. Some of the statistics show that teens with a mentor are 52% less likely to skip a day of school. The impact of a mentor on a teen can be something that ultimately leads to their success. Let's help them to achieve the goals and dreams that they have for themselves. If they are looking for help, have them look into finding a mentor.


Looking for a Teen Coming of Age Series?

Both of the books in The Way Series focus on high school and the challenges teens can face. Book one, The Hard Way, focuses on peer pressure and making choices with the approval of peers being a factor. Book two, Shawn's Way, shows a freshman in high school navigating his way through being the target of a bully. Check out the books tab of my website for more information, Selma P. Verde - Books


Mentoring and Resources

Have you seen these tabs on my website? One is my Mentor page which I mentioned earlier has some mentor statements related to this month's theme National Mentoring Month. And the teen resource links that I mention in my monthly Teen Resource post can all be found on the Resource tab or through a link on the Mentor page. Be sure to take a look and let me know what you think!


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If you would like to learn a little more about me and what I do behind the scenes as an author, blogger and mentor, subscribe to my email list through my website. Emails will arrive in your email box weekly and start later this month.


Have a great week!