This Monday, the country commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with acts of service. It is estimated that for the past 25 years more than 80,000 people have participated in service opportunities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware annually on MLK Day. It’s no wonder why. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiration and volunteering is not only a way to honor him but an opportunity to give back and to become a more involved member of one’s community. It is also a way in which individuals can inspire others.
At RJLF, we know that firsthand. We see that inspiration every day. Our Mentors have volunteered to be there for our Fellows. They choose to build a relationship, to offer support and to be that one person for a young adult who too often doesn’t have one. They inspire us, their Fellows and those around them who witness their service.
But even more so, our Fellows inspire us with their own commitment to service. Some, as they gain their own footing in a career, look to mentor. However, even more aim to dedicate their lives to service through their careers. We are humbled to be working with young people who want to be nurses, social workers, therapists and more. It is an honor to help serve them as they prepare to serve others.
This year, we encourage you to find more ways to serve. Be a part of the inspiration and the good.
January is traditionally the month of new goals or, often, old goals reignited. We view the changing of the calendar as an opportunity to start again and take strides forward - building off of what we accomplished (or were unable to accomplish) in the year before. The goals may be lofty and long-term or small and achievable. There are no rules to the January reset.
However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be some guidelines to setting goals and working toward them. In Mentoring and at RJLF, we teach and model SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Using this model to set goals, enables individuals to continue taking small steps of success toward long-term goals.
For example, when a Fellow wants to graduate from college, their first goal may be to complete the first semester of their bachelor’s degree by spring 2023, with an average GPA of 3.0. This more specific goal is a key factor in their long-term aim but allows them to focus on something they can achieve in a set and shorter period of time.
Using SMART goals is a great way to work toward your own achievements. Give it a try this month as you determine your 2023 plans. See how it works for you!
January is National Mentoring Month. As a mentoring program, we at RJLF love this opportunity to tell you about all the amazing things that our Mentors have done over the past year and entice you to be a mentor, as well. And don’t worry - we will! January has time for it. However, today, we are asking you to do something first.
Take five minutes, maybe 10. Think about the mentors that you’ve had in your life. Maybe you had a formal mentor. Maybe you had a mentor you didn’t realize was mentoring you until years later - a teacher, a supervisor, a friend. How did they impact your life? What did they bring to it and how, perhaps years later, do they continue to influence you and your decisions?
Now take five more minutes and share with others the impact that mentors have had on your life. Share it with us in the comments below or on Facebook and Instagram. Share it with your own mentees, your children, your partner or your friends. Spread the word on the power of mentoring, and by the end of this month, there will be more mentors.