The Importance of Mentoring
January is International Mentoring Month! Established in 2002 by MENTOR, Mentoring Month is a time to advocate for mentorship and raise awareness of how one conversation, one experience and one mentor can change a young person’s life. It’s a time to support meaningful mentor relationships, something we certainly do at Red Balloon!
Mentoring Month is also the time to show our gratitude towards all mentors, not just at Red Balloon. The impact of a mentor on one life can make a massive difference, and we are so thankful for all of our mentors at Red Balloon. In fact, according to MENTOR, young people with mentors are 22% more likely to experience a sense of belonging while growing up, and 92% more likely to to volunteer regularly in their communities. What a difference one mentor can make!
What Mentors Do
Mentoring plays a huge role in the social re-engagement aspect of Red Balloon. One of our goals is to help young people re-engage with their peers and communities by building positive relationships with others. We want them to feel like they belong somewhere in this big, wide world.
Most of our young people are withdrawn and socially isolated when they first come to us. They have missed out on friendships and daily social interactions that are so vital to personal growth and development. This is where our mentors come in.
Particularly with Red Balloon of the Air, individual mentors first visit young people at home. Usually, these young people are the most isolated. Our mentors gradually engage with the young person on their terms so that they can build self-confidence and develop social skills in a safe environment.
These mentors also act as a bridge between commissioners, family, teachers, therapists and any other professionals involved in the young person’s life. They really put in every effort to be supportive and encourage personal growth.
Once again, thank you to all of our mentors at Red Balloon, we would not be able to help young people without your help!