“Mentoring is a significant, long-term beneficial effect on the life or style of another person, generally as a result of personal one-on-one contact. A mentor is one who offers knowledge, insight, perspective, or wisdom that is especially useful to the other person.”Mentoring: A Practical Guide, Gordon F. Shea 1997
January is National Mentoring Month, it is the perfect opportunity to honor all those people who have guided and supported us along our path, those who have led us to fulfill our goals and help make our dreams a reality. It is a month to be grateful for those people we turned to at the beginning of our career or when we felt lost in a new job.
A mentor is someone outside the family who you can turn to for support and guidance, someone who offers personal and real-life training for younger people. Their experience and advice are very valuable.
Lucero Chavez, Director of Policy and Partnerships at PIQE, is a first-generation college student who graduated with honors from the University of San Diego and is well aware of the importance of having a mentor in your life. “As a first-generation immigrant and college graduate, I am grateful for the many mentors in my life – from educators to professionals to friends- who have inspired, uplifted and advocated for me to reach my dreams”, she said.
When we talk about mentors, we are usually referring to career mentors, but this starts way before going to college; middle schoolers should have mentors to guide them through their educational process. A college student can discuss her/his plans with a mentor and be certain that they will have informed feedback. With the help of a mentor, a new employee can get acquainted with their work and responsibilities much faster. A mentor can help develop skills, provides advice and social connections that will help the mentee build a career network.
Chavez is involved in multiple community groups, and is a mentor herself in MANA de San Diego, where she supports young Latinas in their journey.
“The guidance of a mentor can be transformational, which is why I dedicate my time to mentor young, students of color with significant socio-economic barriers to success. I see myself reflected in their struggles and hope that through mentorship and support, they can more easily achieve the success they deserve in the future,” said Chavez.
Join us in celebrating the power of mentorship by giving your time back to those who help you or thanking those who have supported you or have been a positive role model in your life.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or if you want to learn more about this life changing topic visit MENTOR‘s website, an organization that advocates for mentorship, and legislative priorities, and raises awareness for how one conversation, one experience, and one mentor can change a young person’s life.