As the mom of 3 boys (soon to be 4), I definitely consider myself a mentor of sorts. I try to be there as much for my kids as I would for the kids of my friends. This is something that has been engrained within me since I was a young girl. I remember my mom would always invite my friends over for dinner and played hostess to the "hangout house" for them.
When I was a teen, I volunteered at an overnight Christian camp located in a nearby town where I lived. It was something I looked forward to every summer. I started out attending as a camper and was so excited when I was finally old enough to actually "work there. I enjoyed getting to know the campers who were in attendance, many of them feeling nervous about their week-long stay. Then, by the end of the camp week, to see them flourishing in their friendships and feeling that zest for life, it was amazingly rewarding! I would like to think that I played a small role in all of that amazing-ness! Mentoring others in any capacity is a great way to learn more about yourself and to grow as an individual, all while helping others grow and learn too. As I look back on those times, I'm thankful for those opportunties, as they've helped shape the person and mom I am today.
Similarly, the mentoring opportunities offered through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program provide meaningful ways to mentor. Something interesting I learned recently is that 20% of the children served through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are Hispanic, which is a rate that's on the rise. Even with this statistic, only 9% of the Bigs are Latino. Mentoring doesn't have to be complicated, either. Guidance and consejos can come in the form of sharing a personal story about the difficulties of algebra. The bonds of friendship can be formed over something as simple as sharing a slice of pizza. There is such an opportunity for Latinos to make a big impact in their communties by mentoring a child in their area.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has consistently worked to change lives for the better. Because of the mentoring opportunities provided to the youth they serve, kids in the program are less likely to skip school or abuse drugs or alcohol. Small efforts in mentoring kids can make a huge impact on their lives.
In what ways have you served as a mentor for others? Head on over to Latino Big and you can learn more about mentoring in your community today. Giving small amounts of your time and guidance could be huge for a child in need of your friendship. You can also like Latino Bigs on Facebook and follow along on Twitter.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.