Mentoring Matters

My little sister Katie and I at the Evansville Icemen Game on Friday night

Just for a moment, close your eyes and picture yourself as a ten year-old. Think of all the adults who helped you be a kid every day.

I think of my mother. My father. My Godparents. My Sunday School Teacher Mrs. Graves. My church choir director Mrs. Barber-Pederson. My school music teacher Mrs. Birk.  My fifth grade teacher Mr. Stone. There were others along the way who took time to love me.

I was blessed with a lot of adults who took time to nurture me, encourage me, develop my talents and help me find my way. I realize now how important those relationships were and still are in my life.  I can picture people who came alongside me at all stages in my life and mentored me and helped me be a better version of myself. I’m grateful.

I am a Youth and Children’s Minister, a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters Henderson, a Girl Scout volunteer,  and a Boy Scout parent because I realize the importance of adults taking time to build relationships with children and teenagers.

Today is National “Thank Your Mentor Day” and January is National Mentoring Month. Mentoring has always made a difference in my life–in official and unofficial capacities.

We can all mentor and nurture and encourage and love the kids in our lives.

If you’re a parent, be the best parent you can be to your children and look for ways to help them develop other meaningful relationships with their teachers, leaders and family members.

If you’re an adult with time to give (and really–we can always find time if it’s important enough), lead a Scout troop, become a Big, volunteer in a children’s or youth ministry at church, coach a little league team, give lessons, raise money to support organizations related to any of the above.

And guess what? If you mentor, you become a better version of yourself too! It’s really a win-win.