Walking life on life with people is at the very heart of transformation! Mentoring relationships is one of the most meaningful ways we get to be part of lives being transformed, with 337 young people receiving mentoring services through New Life Centers last year. While things have changed to online mentoring for now, the important need for mentoring continues as critical as ever. As mentor and mentee for 3 years, Jasmine and Shea share in their journey the real power of mentoring!
“One time Jasmine mentored me: This happened a couple years ago when I first met her. I told her something personal that happened in my life and the best thing she could have done was tell my mom. I wasn’t happy about having panic attacks and all that, but she said just the right words in that moment to help me get the strength and courage to tell my mom. She kept me calm through the whole thing and never once made me feel upset in any type of way. She relates to me. I’ve never felt judged or alone. After this I felt way closer to my mom and our relationship became better . The fact that I have a mentor is wonderful. She makes me feel like family and she is always there for me.” – Shea
Jasmine became a mentor because she herself was mentored. “I was a softball player. Started playing when I was in 5th grade. Naturally, my coach became my mentor. He told me once , ‘you don’t always have to act ghetto. You deserve more than what your community has stamped on you.’ That was probably the first time someone made me take a look at myself in a new light… that’s what mentoring does. Mentoring has defined my purpose. It allows me to help young men and women who have been in similar shoes with me, teach them that they are more than what their communities have already labeled them to be… their brown skin complexions are enough, though society sometimes says otherwise.
Mentoring to me doesn’t mean that we know everything nor does it mean that we will understand/relate to every youth. They aren’t looking for someone to look like them to build a relationship with, youth are looking for people who know how to be themselves. As a mentor, it’s our job to not only teach, but to also accept teachable moments from youth . It it not our place to judge or inflict our own beliefs onto the kids we walk with, but show them they have options. they do not have to be subjected to the community that wants to define them. Being a mentor means a lot of tough hours and a never ending job. Most importantly, being a mentor, is making sure these youth are put in a better position to succeed, in a better position to feel loved , and in a better position to dream.”