I was taking a shower this morning and I had a great idea, somewhere between scrubbing my toes and rinsing the shampoo from my eyes. My idea was this: somewhere around the 7th grade we should all be assigned a mentor for the school year! This should be mandatory. He or she, with the help from their parents, and maybe the school counselors, would pick someone from the community whom they would like to connect with for a mentor. It would really be cool if mentoring became our civic duty, like voting, so every child could get a leg-up. The benefits would be twofold: the mentor would get recognized for what he or she does in life, boosting his or her confidence and making them better people with better confidence; and the children would get a new friend, cheerleaders and motivator to help them learn to make better life decisions. The children would get new ideas, and they can see how these people have made a difference and really helped others. Mentors can come in the form of all the wonderful people who make any community vibrant – firemen, barbers, construction workers and volunteers can all come together to mentor one child for a school year. I know that we have seen this before but it usually happens one day out of the school year where people just come in and speak to a class for day. I advocate a mentoring program much more comprehensive. In addition, l advocate a course one day a week, taught to every 7th grader by life coaches who can teach children about having a life vision, the importance of goals and goal setting techniques. These were the things that I was exposed to as a kid, because my dad was a life coach. It changed my life for the better. This would be especially helpful for the children who don’t have proper role models in their lives. The children who do have role models will get an outside, unbiased understanding of what their life options could be. In either case, whether they live in the inner city or the suburbs, children would be less likely to choose gangs, drugs or other detrimental life choices. This would lead to a better society, and yes, better relationships that will lead to better family units when they decide to settle down. I can’t see any downside to this mentoring program, can you?
- Absolutely no cost to the community
- No endless, useless, political fighting
- Mentors who benefit from volunteering and in turn build their confidence
- The children get to see the positive choices available to them