Congratulations! By volunteering as a mentor in your community, you have taken an important step toward becoming a positive role model in the life of one of our youngest Iowans in need. The time that you spend with your mentee also serves as an important investment in his or her future. While mentoring does not always garner immediate results, we hope you will remember to celebrate even the smallest signs of success with your mentee. While it might not always feel like it, you are making a difference!
Tips for Being a Successful Mentor
- Go into the relationship with an open mind. Who knows, your mentee might teach you something!
- Have realistic expectations. Don't go into it trying to change your mentees life, just let it happen on its own.
- Don't expect to change your mentee. Let them tell you/show you what they want and need from you and work from there.
- Communicate regularly with the parents of your mentee. Always keep them informed on your plans with your mentee.
- Maintain a positive attitude when you are with your mentee. Your attitude rubs off on them, so if you aren't enjoying yourself, chances are, they aren't either.
- Do not give up. There might be times that you and your mentee don't see eye to eye on some things. Just stick with it and keep meeting with them. You will move past it eventually.
- Be consistent! Show up when you have plans with your mentee, or if you are at an after school program. If you know ahead of time that you won't be able to make it one day, make sure to tell your mentee.
- Remember that you probably won't see immediate results. You might not even truly see the results or differences until after you close your mentor relationship. But just know that you are making a difference, even if you can't necessarily see it all the time.
- Do activities with your mentee that they like, even if you aren't that interested in it. It gives them a chance to teach you something, and you a chance to experience something new.