Have you ever looked back and asked yourself, Where would I be if I had taken a different path in life? Now imagine using your life and set of experiences to improve, impact, or enhance someone else's journey. This is the power of mentoring. Someone once told me to allow my test to be my testimony, and my mess to be my message. The life experiences, both good and bad, have provided me with the passion to be a mentor to others.
I truly believe that we owe it to the next generation to reach back and pull them up. Many people wonder why they should be a mentor and don’t realize the positive impact of helping others. The moment we all decide to be a mentor is when we will truly begin to make a solid investment in our future. I believe that there are 9 critical components to “MENTORING.” If used effectively by both the mentor and the mentee they will:
Magnetize youth to attract positivity in their school work and in life;
Encourage youth to learn more about themselves;
Navigate youth to positive opportunities;
Tap into their inner strengths in order to build them up;
Overcome challenges and barriers while using them as stepping stones to positive outcomes;
Reach their fullest potential so they can become the best version of themselves;
Illuminate their communication and interpersonal skills;
Nourish their self-confidence and self-esteem to believe in themselves; and
Guide youth to setting healthy boundaries and build positive relationships.
Not only are the benefits impactful to the youth we mentor, but to our community in general. MENTORS have 7 critical steps for building impact. It is important that we:
Match caring mentors to prospective mentees;
Engage mentees in an appropriate setting to allow for growth and trust in a mutually respectful relationship;
Nurture relationships that lead to open conversations without judgment and criticisms;
Treat every interaction with substance focused on listening and the giving of time;
Offer experiences and skills;
Reinforce positive affirmations allowing the mentee time to confide with the mentor; and
Share experiences and knowledge allowing the mentee to visualize how positive outcomes are available.
While mentoring is a benefit to the mentee it is also impactful for the mentor. One of my extra-curricular loves is competing in beauty pageants. It keeps me sharp and provides a megaphone for my “Self-Love” platform, which is the notion that all women, irrespective of color, age, or physical ability are fearfully and wonderfully made. As a pageant Queen, my crown is never an excuse to relax but to fight harder to get my message to the masses.
Making a difference starts with one thought, one action, one person, and one community at a time. As Mrs. New Jersey International 2020, I have had the opportunity to meet lots of young women who are unsure about what they want to do in life and are looking for direction. It is because I recognize the overall benefits of giving back to the next generation that I have continued to serve as a mentor where I can.
Mentoring has allowed me to use the story of the woman I see in the mirror. The woman who once struggled to love the person she saw. So she now speaks, shares, mentors, motivates, and inspires everyone she can because she understands the data that says 85% of the population are impacted by low self-esteem. My self-love platform allows me to focus on mentoring young people to raise their self-esteem so they can reach