Do you support the well-being of our youth? Would you be willing to mentor a child who may not have a father or mother? It’s up to us to help these kids out, they are the future and having a person they can rely on could help them tremendously. Some kids have a tough time at home, and they do not have anyone guiding them through life. We all deserve a role model. Some youth are fortunate enough to have two role models at home; their mother and father. While others have no one to turn to. When you were young, didn’t you ever had a moment that you needed advice, or talk to someone about an issue you were facing? By becoming a mentor, you can listen to young people and help them in areas that they need help in. It could be emotional help, helping them with homework, or just being there for them.
I can remember when I became a mentor. I tried signing up with Big Brother’s and Sister’s when I was 18, but they informed me that I needed to be at least 21 years old to apply. So, When I was 21 years old, I applied and was mentoring a young man who did not have a father figure in his life. We would go to Oakland A’s games, Oakland Raiders games, go out to eat, and did other activities. I wanted to be able to pick him up and do what he wanted to do. My goal was to be a role model to him, not his friend. He had plenty of friends at school, but who was his role model? That is where I came in. During the time, I was mentoring this young man, I needed to show him how to act in front of others, not cuss, and how to be polite in all situations.
As a mentor, I was able to give back to my community. Sure, I was a student in college and had a job, but I also had a soft spot for young kids who needed guidance. I took the time out of my schedule to help a young man. I listened to him, took him places, and most importantly, I was a mentor for a young child who needed a strong male in his life. My little brother moved from California to another state, but I still wonder about him and what he is up to. I hope I made a difference in his life.
Just this past weekend I was recording an event at Fresno State that dealt with mentoring. The keynote speaker was Bruce Bowen, a well-known basketball star who has since retired. His mission is to help others understand how important mentoring is. Bruce grew up in Fresno and understand what the youth face in his home town. Mr. Bowen is a strong advocate of mentoring and he delivered a stellar speech. Everything he said was spot on. We as a society really need to help these young people. We need to show them how to be men and how not to let their emotions get the best of them. Bowen described the difference between becoming mad and staying calm in hostile situations. When you are mad you can’t think straight, you make bad decisions. However, when you stay calm you can rationalize and make better decisions. Bowen made several strong points throughout the day. You can watch this short video I shot for Fresno Unified School District regarding this topic.
Think about it, don’t you have time to help guide our youth?