What’s the key to being a successful mentor? You just have to be willing to spend about four hours a month with your student and be open to teaching them new skills or exploring their interests.
January is National Mentoring Month and Midlands Mentoring Partnership just kicked off its 5th annual city-wide mentor recruitment campaign.
Nichole Turgeon, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, says mentoring is a valuable tool that helps assist youth living under the poverty level who are facing numerous challenges.
Turgeon says the campaign is not only aimed at recruiting mentors, but also raising awareness of the different types of mentoring opportunities available and addressing some of the common misconceptions about youth mentoring.
"There are people who feel like they have to be perfect in order to be a role model for youth or they have to have a really big job and that’s not what organizations or the kids are looking for. (They want) Just someone to consistently spend time with them, show them some new things, maybe different areas of the community or help them learn new skills or explore their interests.”
Turgeon says effective mentoring increases youth confidence and academic performance and decreases the likelihood students will engage in risky behaviors.
Turgeon says ultimately it helps them be more successful in school, the workforce and life.
She says if you’re interested in mentoring, the website is MentorOmahaNow.org. She says at the site people can explore the different types of mentoring they can do in the community.