As a young child I surrounded myself by positive people. People that were good listeners, good friends and above all people that had my back. I always had mentors in my life that cared, supported me and guided me. Mentors that knew my strength, abilities and provided a boost of self-esteem. I also had neighborhood comadres that would set me straight if they suspected I was making wrong decisions because they wanted me to be a successful and an independent woman.
As I became an adult I felt it was very important for me to provide the same type of support and guidance to others. I shared life lessons to help raise tomorrow’s leaders, escorted youth to field trips and talk with youth about future goals. I know that the reason I was able to transition into a role of a mentor is because my parents were good role models to me and my siblings and taught us by example by serving our community.
I’m so thankful to serve as a community leader. I have been fortunate to serve many roles as a mentor. Whether it was to provide a listening ear in time of need, guidance to a friend, counseling, support at an appointment or volunteering at a local event during the holidays it’s been a very rewarding opportunity for me. I have always had a heart to serve youth and women in need in my community. My calling is to mentor women. Whether they are young women or peers I know that supporting women has it many rewards because I know I’m making a difference in someone’s life. It is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.
Tomorrow’s leaders need mentors from all walks of life. That is why I’m so thankful for programs such as Big Brother’s Big Sister’s Latino Bigs. Big Brothers Big Sisters Latino Bigs volunteers have multiple backgrounds. Some are bus drivers, waitresses, business owners, stay-at-home moms, lawyers, nurses and construction workers. They are also college students and retirees. You don’t need special training or a degree to positively influence a child. YOU have what it takes to be a great role model.
Getting together doesn’t require a special occasion or expensive activity—just a few hours every month doing things the Little and Big already enjoy such as reading books, cooking together or providing guidance and inspiration.
As you count your blessing during the holiday season consider how you can help youth in your neighborhood that need a role model, guidance or just a listening ear. Consider making a difference in the life of tomorrow’s leaders by volunteering.
For more more information about volunteering as a ‘”Big” check out www.latinobigs.org or www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.
Question: Do you have a mentor you are Thankful for? Has the experienced encouraged you to mentor others?
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