Today is I Am a Mentor Day. It is a day within National Mentoring Month where volunteers are encouraged to reflect on the work they have done and the impact they have had on their mentees. At the R. J. Leonard Foundation we have amazing mentors. Each of them has signed up to support and guide their Fellow through the challenges of furthering education and career plans, as well as the obstacles in day to day life.
However, our formal mentors are often not and should not be the only mentors in our Fellows’ lives. Informal mentoring happens every day in a variety of ways. It may be a board member at RJLF, for example, taking the time to discuss their career path and industry, but it is more likely to be a community member - a teacher, social worker, neighbor - who has an often unseen yet invaluable effect on a young person. Informal mentoring happens simply when an adult becomes a trusted adult by being present, listening and helping to guide.
If you take a moment to reflect, you may find that within your own life you have had a number of informal mentors through the years. You may also discover that you, too, have acted as someone’s mentor. If that is the case, today on I Am a Mentor Day, be proud of the positive role you have played - formally or informally - and take strides to continue being the mentor you already are.