Marty Walsh, candidate for Boston mayor, discusses mentoring

The Boston mayoral election is Nov. 5, 2013. Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) reached out to both final candidates to find out how mentoring has impacted their own lives. Here is the response from candidate Marty Walsh.

Why do you believe mentoring is important?
Marty Walsh headshotMentoring is one of the most fulfilling things a person can do. A mentor has the opportunity to influence how someone sees the world and to ignite a spark of curiosity.

Many of us are searching for guidance, but it is often difficult to find. Mentoring can help to fill these gaps, especially for our young population. I commend those who go out of their way to take others under their wing and expose them to new ideas and experiences. Mentors can inspire young people to seek knowledge, study in school, practice on the field, and explore new relationships and opportunities.

Mentors can also have a powerful opportunity to shape a young person’s life by helping to avoid mistakes before they are made. When a mentor sees their mentee on his or her way to making a mistake, it can be corrected and discussed before the problem occurs. I believe this is extremely valuable for young people because they can gain an opportunity to understand that their actions have consequences.

Lastly, good mentors can inspire their mentees to mentor others. A great mentor can have a powerful impact on a young person’s life, and that person may want to share their experiences with others by becoming a mentor. This creates a chain where the number of mentors, leaders, and teachers increases over time.  Every day, mentors make someone’s life a little easier or happier. This is one of the best feelings in the world. I know I would not be where I am today if it was not for some of the mentors who had such a positive effect on my life.

Who are some of your mentors and what impact did those individuals have on your life?
I have had many mentors in my life, but the one who is most responsible for shaping the person I am today is my father. My father came to the United States from Ireland with no education and counted on his ability to work hard in order to make it here. He became a laborer and provided for my mother, my brother, and I while making sure he still had time to be a great father. He taught me the value of hard work and being kind to people. He showed me that life is not about money and fancy things, but spending time with loved ones and helping others are the real causes of happiness. I am running for Mayor because I want to help people, a desire my father instilled in me from a young age.  My father taught me so much, and I know if he was here today he would be proud of me.