Elliot Perry has an urgent request for more Memphians to become mentors. Read Geoff Calkin’s latest at The Daily Memphian.
Who Helped Shape You?
How did you become who you are? There’s no doubt that we are who we are because of the people in our lives who shaped us growing up. But did you know that 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor? Those who have a mentor are less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, are more likely to be enrolled in college, more likely to volunteer in their communities, and frequently become mentors themselves, paying forward the good that’s crucial to improving outcomes for all Memphians. That’s why #NationalMentoringMonth is so important, to draw attention to the mentoring movement.
In this video, retired NBA player Elliot Perry shares how his mentor impacted his life: “Sitting down on the steps, asking me where I wanted to go to college, how I was doing in school… it really started to challenge me on the basketball court, challenge me in the classroom, challenge me as a person, who I was…”
“The word was ‘confidence’: confidence was the key.”
Mentors Make an Impact.
In Memphis, there are a lot of great opportunities to make a meaningful impact. One place to start is by stepping up for the most vulnerable among us — our young people. Mentors play an essential role by setting an example, being there to listen, offering direction, encouragement, and exposure to alternative paths to success.
According to Mentoring.org, “Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.”
Not yet a mentor?
If you’re not currently a mentor, with a new year upon us, now is an excellent time to take action. Resolve to make a difference in the life of a young person. You don’t have to come to the table with all of the answers. There’s power in what you and your mentee can discover together.
For more mentor opportunities around Memphis, check out Volunteer Odyssey.
Already a mentor?
Share your experience on social media using the hashtags #NationalMentoringMonth and #MemphisMentors to encourage others in your community to take up the mantle and become mentors.