January is National Mentoring Month, the purpose of which is to highlight the impact that mentoring, both formal and informal, can have on individuals and communities. I have the good fortune of seeing mentoring in action every day through my job at Big Brothers Big Sisters, where our mission is to change the lives of children for the better, forever.
Long-standing, independent studies find youth enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are more likely than their peers to achieve in school, avoid risky and delinquent behavior and have high self-esteem and aspirations. In my tenure here I have seen mentoring relationships change the trajectory of a life and set a child on a different path.
I believe in the power of mentoring, and that is why I do what I do. With that in mind, I would encourage you to think about someone who has had an influence on your life be they a teacher, friend, co-worker, spiritual advisor or neighbor and reach out to that person with a thank you. I would also encourage you to pay the kindness forward by reaching out to mentor someone in your life. Youll be surprised at how good it will make you feel.
Justin M. Tafoya