The original Mentor was a character in the story of Odysseus, by the Greek writer Homer. When Odysseus went to fight the Trojan War, he left his son, Telemachus, behind. Odysseus asked a wise friend named Mentor to watch over his son and help him become a good man and a strong ruler. The name Mentor entered our language as a word for an older, wiser person helping a younger person find his way in the world.
Most of us can think of people in our lives, more experienced than ourselves, who taught us something new, offered advice, presented a challenge, initiated friendship, or simply expressed an interest in our development as a person. They helped us negotiate an uphill path or find an entirely new path to a goal in our academic, career, or personal lives. They showed us a world larger than our neighborhood. They pointed out talents that we hadn’t noticed in ourselves and stimulated ideas about what we might be able to accomplish. They nudged us when we needed a nudge.
Adult mentors are a stable and important part of Owen’s Garage and it is essential that they attempt to engage with students regularly to build relationships and gain a position of caring and positive influence. In person contact and electronic communication brings students together with mentors and aids bonding and access to facilitate spiritual, academic, career, and personal achievements.
As a mentor you offer the following:
- Information – Mentors share their knowledge, experiences, and wisdom.
- Contacts – Mentors facilitate valuable interpersonal opportunities by connecting students with other strategic and developmental community leaders.
- Challenges – Mentors stimulate curiosity and build confidence by presenting new ideas, and by encouraging risk taking opportunities and initiating challenges.
- Support – Mentors encourage personal, spiritual, and vocational growth, and achievement by providing an open and supportive environment with a focus on progress.
- Goal Setting – Mentors help students discover their passions, talents, and interests and help them define, plan for, and attain their personal, spiritual, and vocational goals.
- Advice – Mentors listen to and guide students with life decisions by offering real world advice to help them reach their spiritual, academic, career, and personal goals.
- Role Models – Mentors realize they are role models and strive to gain positive influence by taking an interest and sharing personal and/or borrowed stories of awareness, growth, and achievement with students.
- Vision – Mentors cast vision and possibilities for how a student’s future could be and provide the real world expectations and requirements for success.