What does it mean to be a mentor?

Throughout National Mentoring Month, we will be highlighting different perspectives on The Mentor Effect from community leaders across Massachusetts. Today's perspective comes from MMP Board Member Jacqui Conrad. Jacqui is the director of communications and public relations at Cambridge College, and is also the president at delaCruz Communications.

JCheadshot_2012I have always valued and respected mentors and believe mentoring is something not to be taken lightly. Mentoring provides an invaluable opportunity to give or share your time with youth that may not have any guidance or positive mentors in their lives. I believe everyone is destined with a purpose, and mentors have the honor of guiding, inspiring and encouraging mentees to succeed in fulfilling and living their purpose.

There's a common misconception that mentoring takes a lot of time and energy that many feel they simply do not have. The reality is that mentoring is as easy as picking up the phone to say hello, or meeting for a quick lunch or walk. It's a lot more fun than it is work but it all comes down to what you make of it. At the end of the day, mentees are enormously grateful and even surprised at how someone who is not their biological relative can shower them with time, support and genuine friendship on a voluntary and consistent basis. What's even more amazing is the reality that the true beneficiaries of mentoring are the mentors themselves who are unequivocally blessed with the joy of making a difference in someone else's life. You'll become a mentor for life the moment you experience the feeling of changing a life.

Working with Mass Mentoring Partnership is a tremendous honor and I am proud of the increasing number of mentoring programs we support across Massachusetts that positively change the trajectory of many lives.

To learn how you or your business can get involved, visit www.massmentors.org