CEO Wendy Foster Lists 5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Mentor
I love Fridays because they are the end of the busy work week (phew!), but for the past few years I’ve had another reason to love Fridays. That’s the day of the week I visit with my Little Sister. As I was walking over to her school to see her today, I was reflecting on how much I truly enjoy the experience of being a mentor; not just because we have FUN together, but because I know I’m making a difference in the life of my Little every time I walk through that door. It’s inspiring, and frankly I couldn’t think of a better time than National Mentoring Month to share my enthusiasm with the mentoring community.
Here are my top 5 Reasons Why You Should Should Become a Mentor:
- You’ll have tons of fun and get to be a kid again. Spending time one-on-one with a child is one of life’s joys. My Little sister’s free spirit, sense of play, unbounded curiosity, and love of being the center of attention never fails to put a huge smile on my face. We have so much fun together sharing jokes back and forth, playing board and card games, inventing stories, making crafts or reading together. As the mom of an adult child, it is so nice to have a time in my week when I am reminded of what the world is like through a child’s eyes and when I get to be silly and just have fun for the fun of it.
- You’ll feel better and be healthier. Studies have shown time and again that giving back and being in service to others is good for our health. Volunteering has been shown to combat depression, reduce stress, provide a boost to our immune systems, enhance our self-worth, increase our life satisfaction, and even help us live longer! And in my case, getting out of my office and walking back and forth to my Little’s school for our visits is an extra added health benefit.
- You’ll make a new friend. Having friends is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. Getting to know my Little Sister has been a wonderful experience, and now a few years into our relationship, I truly consider her to be a friend. I am constantly surprised at how our friendship continues to unfold and grow deeper over time. I really look forward to how it will continue to grow.
- You’ll make a deep and lasting impact on another human being. Children are like sponges; they soak up everything! They are constantly observing and watching the adults around them to understand the world and their place in it. Children need adult guidance to learn values, right from wrong, how to behave, how to form relationships, how to solve problems, how to set goals, the importance of education and life-long learning, and on and on. There is no substitute for the role of adults in helping children grow into healthy, productive people who achieve their potential. Being a mentor to a child makes a BIG difference in that child’s life.
- You’ll get more out of the experience than you can imagine. As the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, I have the great privilege of meeting hundreds of Big Brothers and Big Sisters every year. Over and over they tell me that they are getting more out of the experience than they are giving, and more than they ever imagined. I feel the same way about my friendship with my Little Sister. I can personally attest that being a Big will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.
Are you already a mentor? Then I’d love to know what’s inspiring you? Let me know in the comment section below.