Being A Mentor

Being A Mentor

Growing up I would always see or read about some of the most successful people in life having a mentor. A person who was there to not only guide and advise but listen and give positive or negative feedback. As a result of this in middle school, I began to develop an interest in helping others in any way, shape or form. A lot of this help came in the form of advice. It was me just willing to listen to what others had on their mind. Sometimes it would call for a response and other times that person just wanted peace of mind knowing that someone on the other end was listening to them. Then in high school I really started to take my interest to the next level. My junior year I became a freshman mentor. I was assigned a specific homeroom that I would visit on a weekly basis and just answer any questions or concerns that they had. It wasn’t always about school, but sometimes sports, extracurriculars or everyday life.

This allowed me to stay connected with great young men even after I graduated and went to North Carolina for college. To this day, I still keep in contact with some of them and it is great to see all of the progress that they have made in the time we’ve known one another. In college, I followed a similar path and became a mentor for the Pirate Academic Success Center at my school. It was a similar format where I was meeting weekly with students to hold them accountable on the academic side of things, but also to make their transition in college as smooth as possible.

I also joined an organization called Collegiate 100, which was a male group mentoring the youth that may not have the best life at home, including those with no father figure. We were able to partner with a local middle school and we traveled there three to four times a month for various activities. There were times we had lesson plans about chivalry or how to address teachers and professionals and other times where we would attend their sports practices to have some competitive fun.

It was a blessing to be able to hear how much of a difference the meetings made and how much more comfortable they felt on campus as each week passed. In addition, I am still able to touch base with these men through social media, text and calls and to be able to witness first-hand the moves that they are making on their own. It’s beyond inspiring.

But it didn’t stop here…the summer of my junior year I was selected to go to a boys leadership camp on behalf of my fraternity. We spent a week at a campsite with boys ages 6-13 and participated in different sets of activities each day. From hiking to swimming to even zip-lining, I was able to form a bond with a group of children that I had never met in my life. Not only that, but I was grouped with other members of my fraternity from around the state, so it was great fellowship all around.

All in all, I have through these experiences that I love to not only meet new people but be a positive impact in their life. I have learned how to adapt to different personalities and have become a better listener with time. While having a mentor isn’t a make or break of success, it is important to surround yourself with positive and like-minded individuals who will always hold you accountable and propel you forward.

Tamar Turner