National Mentoring Month
My tribe of mentors helped me to get to where I am today. They are high-level city officials, executive leaders in nonprofit, educators, and C-suite executives here in Silicon Valley. It is their incredible leadership and guidance that has helped me to achieve my professional success and goals. However, my most impactful mentor was my 5th-grade elementary teacher, Mrs. Hopper, who taught me about civic duty and community service. To this day, the work I do outside of my professional life is centered on service and giving back to the community. Much of my spare time is dedicated to service.
Today, 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor of any kind. Growing up as a first-generation American without a mentor was challenging, so I understand the importance of having someone to help guide me and provide advice for navigating the social, academic, and professional landscape. I relied heavily on school counselors to help me navigate through the application process for my undergrad education, and my American friends and their parents to adjust to social and cultural norms.
The success of students like myself is dependent on others helping to lend a hand and guiding them through whatever challenges they are faced with. Throughout high school, I was blessed with friends who encouraged me to participate in a band when I couldn’t make it in sports so that I can at least list an extracurricular activity on my college application. I also joined the student organizations at the advice of my high school computer lab teacher because he knew that, if I wanted to go to college, I needed to have community service under my belt.
A study also showed that mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate with them better. (The Role of Risk, 2013). The positive impact of having mentors has helped me tremendously to overcome personal and professional obstacles and deal with it in a better way.
I’ve returned to my alma mater, CSU Stanislaus, to volunteer in the Warrior Mentoring program as a mentor to help other first-generation students much like myself. This program connects mentors with mentees to provide career conversations, resume writing critiques, mock interviews, panel discussions, and ways to optimize Linkedin profiles. This program also provides webinars to mentor and mentee in various areas to help them succeed in personal and professional growth.
Become a mentor today! Invest back into the youth of our communities.