There Are Many Ways To Be A Mentor




I love my iPhone.  I can listen to music, send emails, record my grocery list, post to social media, take photos and A LOT more on a device that fits in my back pocket. In this technology obsessed culture I know that I’m not the only one that often wonders how I got along without my smart phone.  Smart phones are SMART – seriously…a phone book, a calculator, and calendar available at your fingertips.  What’s not to love?


Breaking or losing a cell phone can bring one close to tears. When technology works well it is fantastic but there are times when we have to get back to basics.  There are still times when a pen and paper are essential.  More often than not, that time is when you are actually on the phone. 


It may seem obvious to those of us over the age of 30 that we need to have a pen and paper close at hand when we are on the telephone taking a message for someone, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or requesting information from someone on the other end of the phone. Not so obvious to many youth and young adults. 


When I get a phone call for referrals or recommendations my professional goal is to give at least two referrals and a couple questions to ask to ensure that the caller gets the support they need.  Not only do I get calls from people who don’t know who they have called so they ask me the name of the business but I have had so many young people push buttons in my ear while trying to save the telephone numbers in their cell phones of the next people they are going to call that I’m blogging about it. At the moment that I begin to explain telephone etiquette I have become a mentor. (When there is no paper or pen available I just text or email them the referrals so they can save them directly into their cell phones.) You see, mentors guide in big and small ways and mentorship isn’t always formal or long-term.  I mentor the employment candidate whose resume needs a professional makeover or the college student looking for an internship that doesn’t interview well.  The opportunities to positively impact a life with your wisdom, experience, and compassion are endless. 


How will you commemorate National Mentoring Month this January? 

Check out my blog, I Am Unable To Foster Or Adopt Now What, for ideas. 




Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer

The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.  We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.


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