The Power of Mentoring
I believe in the power of mentoring. It changes people’s lives. You want to make a difference? You want to impact someone’s life? You want to leave a legacy? Mentor someone.
I am not a formal mentor or mentee but I have mentors that, throughout my life helped me in my personal life, spiritual life, and in my career. I have also mentored over 15 young adults during high school, their college years, and while entering the workforce. I helped them with interviewing skills, preparing their resumes, negotiating salaries, getting promotions, connecting them to potential employers, and coaching them through work situations once employed. I also coached and used the power of mentoring for “grownups” when going through transitions at work or switching careers. The little help I provided impacted their lives in various ways.
My mentors helped me get through transitions in my own life, including leaving a ten-year job at a bank I helped start and launching a bank consulting firm, Malzahn Strategic. I encourage you to look for a mentor, someone who is wiser than you and that can help you become all you can be. Seek for a mentor who wants to share her or his life experiences with you, a person who is willing to share her or his mistakes as well as the successes.
Mentoring is powerful. That’s why I volunteered to be on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (BBBSGTC) Board. I started serving on the Finance Committee, then served on the Executive Committee, and then as the Board Chair. I want to share my enthusiasm for BBBSGTC with you so you can partake of this experience too.
BBBSGTC is the sixth largest agency in the nation and mentors over 2,000 children. Based on data and research at this agency from 2015, only 10% of Littles and 2% of Bigs in the program are Hispanic/Latinos. Of the 2,000 children (Littles), 56% are female and 44% are male and 58% of the Bigs are female and 42% are males. When measuring development outcomes at this agency, 94% of the youth improved or maintained their scholastic competence, 84% have higher educational expectations, 94% feel more accepted by their peers, and 90% of children mentored increased their motivation to continue their education or job training beyond high school. At the national level, youth that participates in the BBBS mentoring program are 75% more likely to earn a college degree, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, and 52% less likely to skip school. (Data as of 2016)
There are opportunities to get involved and make a lifetime impact in a young person’s life through BBBS. Become a Big and mentor a girl or boy. They are looking for Latinas (and Latinos) who speak Spanish too. If you don’t want to or have the time to be in a formal mentoring program, then do it informally. But mentor someone! It is the best way to give back to the younger generation and to pass on your own wisdom. Mentoring is a way to show the young men and women that they are valuable and that they can too make a difference in the world. As a Latina woman leader, I feel the responsibility to be an example and encourage the younger Latinas that are coming behind me.
As leaders, we need to impart in the younger generation what we learned during our lives and help them prepare to succeed in the working environment. I challenge you to take the initiative to mentor a young girl or young adult and enjoy the journey of seeing a life being transformed right in front of your eyes. Visit BBBSGTC’s website and get involved! (www.bigstwincities.org)