Celebrate the mentors in your life

January is National Mentoring Month and there is no better time to thank your mentors.

Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month? This is a time set aside to celebrate mentoring relationships and the impact mentors have on young people. The unfortunate thing about mentoring is that many young people don’t yet realize the impact the relationship has on them. I know I didn’t. When I was a teenager, I had some amazing mentors. While I liked them all, I had no idea they were helping me to become the woman I am today. By the time I figured it out, I had lost touch with most of them.

Over the past ten years, I have taken time each January to track down some of my mentors and say thank you. The experience has been powerful for me and my mentors. It has made me happy to tell them what they meant to me—whether they gave some great advice or modeled behaviors that I adopted over time. Each of them have told me how much it means to them to know they made a difference—because really, who doesn’t want to make a difference? Michigan State University Extension believes that every young person needs and deserves a mentor to provide friendship and guidance.

So, who mentored you? Do they know that they are on your list? If not, now is the perfect time to find them and let them know. If you need some inspiration, check out these videos. An email, phone call or letter is all it takes. Thank Your Mentor Day is January 15th and there is no better time to track down that teacher, coach, pastor, club leader or neighbor who took time to invest in you.

If you are ready to give back and mentor one of the thousands of young people waiting for a mentor, you can find a program near you on the National Mentoring Month website.

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