January is National Mentoring Month! Launched in 2002, it’s a time to reflect and celebrate the need for mentors, and how we can all work together to increase the number of effective mentors striving to assure positive outcomes for young people. Obviously, it’s an important and exciting month for us at Girls Write Now. We’ve spent the month thanking our mentors—who donate more than 10,00o hours of service annually!—and working to give them the support necessary to keep on changing the lives of our teens.
Last week, mentors from both the Writing and Mentoring Program and the Digital Media Mentoring Program met with our programs staff to share their experiences from the first half of the program year, learn from each other, and get to know each other better. Shara, a current mentor in the Writing and Mentoring Program, meditated on the definition of a mentor; what it means, how you behave, how many different roles you play. It’s not an easy thing to nail down, but it’s that challenge that can lead to such a dynamic, rewarding, and downright real relationship with a mentee.
That Saturday, our girls also shared letters with their mentors, thanking them for their time and energy. The letters gushed with admiration and respect, so to spread the warmth and giddiness, check out some of our favorites below. And remember, be someone who matters to someone who matters, this month and every month.
- “I know that this is both our first times in GWN, but honestly I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I’m having a blast meeting up with you in that cute little cafe up that hill. The scenery to get there really takes my mind off of any troubles I might be having, and that’s only part of the reason why these meet ups are memorable. Once we meet up, it instantly feels warm and comfortable.”
- “Thanks for the times you have helped me and encouraged me to finish a piece and to not give up. You have inspired me to never give up and to pursue my work with dedication. I truly appreciate and value all the different things I’ve learned from you. Your wisdom, mentorship, and motivation will always be behind me in my future achievements and success.”
- “We went from purple folders of drafts to submitting to writing contests in no time. Thank you for these past months. You have completed my Girls Write Now experience by being the best mentor you can be. I can’t wait to continue our journey together! Time for more pretzel croissants!”
- “Thank you, for believing in me when I didn’t! You have made me a much stronger person with the willingness to keep going even when I was completely convinced I couldn’t.”
- “You are cultured, dignified, and phenomenal. When we first met you drowned me in literature. I thought that I’d already read all the best books, and then you came along and introduced me to some of the best pieces I’d ever read. I admire your attitude and how at peace you are with yourself, and who you are…I adore you, and l’m honored to have you as my mentor. Abrazos.”