The Power of Mentoring
There are many things I wish people had told me when I was growing up. Instead, I found myself constantly lost, forced to navigate the murky waters of adolescence alone, often searching for a paddle to get myself upstream, past all the choices I made, without proper guidance—and wow, were some of those poor choices! Some of which I find myself still recovering from to this day.
I often wonder how different my life would have been if I had had a mentor—someone to offer advice and guide me through the difficult decisions I faced as a young person. So, I decided to become the person I needed when I was growing up.
My name is Anya Lindsey-Jenkins, and I’m a mentor. I defend potential, and I believe in young people. I believe in all young people and their ability to be whatever they want to be in life.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a young person discover who they want to be in the world. It’s the equivalent of watching the metamorphosis of a caterpillar as it develops into a butterfly.
Young people excite me—their constant quest to learn new things, and the joy on their faces when they achieve a goal they may have thought they could never accomplish—all it took was just a gentle push in the right direction. Whether it is a listening ear or a dabble of encouragement, being a mentor provides a life-lasting impression. By that alone, mentoring is powerful.
If volunteering time to support a young person in figuring out this wild thing called life can make things a little easier for them growing up, why not be a defender of potential? Defend, support, and encourage—be a mentor. It’s one the most powerful things you will ever do in your life. ▼
Anya Lindsey-Jenkins is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware.