Why volunteering as a mentor matters

November 3, 2015

There are countless volunteering opportunities available out there. But your time and energy are limited, so why not consider volunteering your time to be mentor? Here are three reasons why volunteer mentorship is a great volunteer opportunity that can reap real rewards for you and for others.

Why volunteering as a mentor matters

Mentorship matters

A 2013 study that the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health conducted found that children who work with mentors are more confident, happy, and likely to succeed. Plus, the benefits of working with a mentor seem to impact all areas of life.

For example, boys with mentors are twice as likely to think that school is important, while girls who work with mentors are four times less likely to get in fights or engage in bullying behaviours.

Those powerful statistics are just the beginning.

When you mentor a young person, you create a lifelong friendship and provide an outlet for your mentee. And, as a trusted (but not enmeshed) friend, you can provide perspective and a vital outside ear for a young person who will truly appreciate it.

Mentorship opens doors

You may not think you have a lot to offer as a mentor, but that likely isn't true.

In fact, mentorship sheds light on new life experiences and options  that can open doors for mentees.

The mere fact that you aren't part of your mentee's daily life can make interacting with you a powerful contrast. Through this contrast your mentee will learn about your unique culture, heritage, personality, skill set, and job — and that perspective can make him or her more likely to take advantage of community resources and broaden their life horizons to include new opportunities .

Mentorship rewards mentors

The most compelling reason to mentor a young person isn't about the young person at all — it's about you.

That's because mentorship is an extremely rewarding task.

When you devote your time and energy to another person, you can forget about your own worries and be confident that you are giving back to your community.

You may even find that interacting with a young person who looks up to you for support, guidance, and advice will help you learn a lot about yourself, your personality, and your confidence.

At the end of the day, you may be surprised to find that you get just as much (or more) out of mentoring than the young person you commit to helping.

So if you're looking for a volunteering opportunity that can have a great impact on you and those around you, definitely consider mentoring.

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