Academic Self-Discovery: Mentorship

Mentoring is a way of passing down knowledge from one person to another, yet it is also deeper than that. It is also about helping the mentee gain confidence in themselves and for whatever it was they had difficulty with. That for me is the goal to have during the journey to academic self-discovery. Recently I was given an allegory on how impactful mentoring can be for all whose involved. The allegory goes like this: there is a dark room and inside are people holding candlesticks without flame. Then walks in a person with a candle that is lit. This person decides to share their light with another and now the room has a faint amount of light, however, it is still not bright enough. If the two share it with more and those they share it with do the same with the rest, eventually the entire romm will become illuminated. That is what mentoring is about. Giving “light” to those that are in need of it.

Mentorship is the act of teaching and learning, gaining information from those with more experience. This has been done for years and years and though we might not have called the people who are our gardians, siblings, friends, or teachers “mentors”, that is in a way what they are because they all contribute something to our lives. Most mentors have an insight on how things work from their own experiences, due to this they are able to give their mentee the best advise or support needed. Mentors in the field the mentee is attempting will know the right ways to push and motivate them to continue. It is not only the mentee that benefits form having a mentorship, the mentor also gains from this. The mentor will have the chance to test their skills and what they know and they most likely will be filled with the sense of purpose and accomplishment from helping others.

There are many programs and internships people can look up and join that involves mentoring. One of the programs that I know has mentoring opportunities at City Tech is BMI (Black Male Initiative). Despite their name they are open for all (women and people of other races). They provide academic help and guidance to make sure students do not just succeed but help others to succeed as well. I’ve heard personal stories of growth from members of that program, such as them being once too shy to speak to an audience to now being able to stand infront of a crowd and speak almost fully at ease. Mentorship is a great way to add something intresting to resumes, a great way of helping others and your community, a chance to improve at the things one struggles with, and so much more.

Have you ever been a mentor or a mentee? How was your experience like? If you want to share just leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

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