Eisenhower Youth Mentoring

Here is Pete throwing a pot ....
Pete is also one of the dedicated people involved in Youth Mentoring for the Minnetonka Rotary
The comments below are from Pete talking about Mentoring.

The questions that came to mind before I decided to become a Youth Mentor:
1) Why should I become a mentor?
2) Do I want to make a positive impact on a child’s life?
3) Do I want a child to bond with me?
4) Do I want to help a child be successful?
5) Do I want a child to feel a sense of accomplishment and self worth?

Every time I step into the role of a mentor I feel like I am making a difference in helping a child find and navigate a path in life. Many times I have felt had only someone cared or bothered to have an interest in what was going on in my life, that maybe I could have had more opportunities and a few less anxious moments. The kids I have worked with may come from broken homes, single parent families, blended families or other variable influences …… you know real life situations. When we get started it isn’t real comfortable for them, but I know if I just talk and relate to them they will open up to me. Sometimes these kids just need to talk to some one other than a parent to feel okay.

Every child wants to know that someone cares and shows interest in their goals, dreams and ambitions. Every child wants to share their vision of success and accomplishment with someone, who listens and understands the challenges they are afraid to tell people about. And although it starts out with me talking with them to break the ice, it is then very important to listen to the things they talk about, when they do respond.

In more than one exchange I know I have affected their mindset when they realized that it wasn’t what they did and certainly not their fault. As a mentor, I become a confidant, someone who the child can feel comfortable with and talk to. I try to understand how this kid thinks so that they have a happy life and so they understand that everything is going to work out. Some kids just don’t have confidence and I help them to be able to relate to people, by listening and responding to what they say.

Sometimes we work on homework. Sometimes we talk about school. Sometimes we talk about other kids they had fun with or challenges that they ran into yesterday. Most of the time we just talk and I give them my guidance when they ask for it. Being reserved and listening for an hour once a week is very rewarding to me personally…… I feel that I am Making a Difference for this kid and in the bigger picture of Building Responsible Youth.