I had a potential mentor tell me the other day that she wasn’t sure what she could offer to a Fellow. She’s been a stay-at-home mom for the past ten years and was concerned that her step back from the [paying] workforce should be a knock against her. She said, gesturing at her Zoom image, “I wear sweatshirts all day!”. I guess she was confused because at the time, I was wearing a sweater . . . with a defined collar. But let’s be clear about how Zoom meetings work:
And sure, she wasn’t really talking about what she wears all day. She was talking about the presumed superiority of those with paychecks and the assumption that you can only help guide a young adult if you’re one of them. However the truth is, that’s simply not true.
Our mentors are a wide variety of people from retirees, to active professionals to - yes - stay-at home-moms (we would love some stay-at-home dads, too!). Their resumes do not make them a mentor, and neither does yours. Who you are makes you a mentor. How do you listen and respond? How much are you willing to not just teach but learn? How much do you and will you continue to care?
This potential mentor will be an amazing mentor once matched, because her heart is in it. She is passionate about helping young people exiting foster care, she is eager to know as much as she can about the system and the people within it, as well as the individual she connects with. We cannot wait to match her.
If you’re uncertain what you could bring to a mentor-fellow relationship, contact us. We would love to help you find out.