The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mentor as a trusted counselor or guide. A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps guide another individual's development. The mentor's role is to guide, to give advice, and to support the mentee. A mentor can help a person (mentee) improve his or her abilities and skills through observation, assessment, modeling, and by providing guidance.
A mentor is a caring, adult friend who devotes time to a young person. Although mentors can fill any number of different roles, all mentors have the same goal in common: to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths.
Mentors should understand they are not meant to replace a parent, guardian or teacher. A mentor is not a disciplinarian or decision maker for a child. Instead, a mentor echoes the positive values and cultural heritage parents and guardians are teaching. A mentor is part of a team of caring adults.
A mentor's main purpose is to help a young person define individual goals and find ways to achieve them. Since the expectations of each child will vary, the mentor's job is to encourage the development of a flexible relationship that responds to both the mentor's and the young person's needs.
By sharing fun activities and exposing a youth to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas.
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