Guest Blog: The Importance of Mentorship
This guest blog was written by our friends at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area to commemorate Mentor Month. Keep reading to learn more about the impact mentorship can have on young people across Canada.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP FOR HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE BUILD RESILIENCE
by Jerri Elgert, Communications Coordinator
Every January, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Canada celebrate Mentor Month! Throughout the month, mentoring agencies, along with The Alberta Mentoring Partnership and Mentor Canada, come together to raise awareness about the crucial role mentoring has in igniting the potential of young people across Canada.
This month is an important time for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area. Not only does Mentor Month allow us to increase the visibility of an important cause, but helps us connect vulnerable youth with valuable mentoring resources. The need for mentoring has become even more apparent with the unprecedented challenges our communities face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of the young people we serve are facing adversities that can impact the development of social-emotional skills. In 2021, our surveys showed that 80% of the young people in our community programs have difficulties controlling their emotions; 92% had low self-esteem, and 81% experienced peer difficulties.
A mentor can make a big difference in helping young people overcome these adversities by helping them build resilience to build on social-emotional skills. In fact, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child notes that facilitating supportive adult-child relationships, such as mentorship, is one of the four key factors that builds resilience that can be used as a tool to tackle adversity (Harvard Center on the Developing Child).
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area builds resilience for our young people facilitating and supporting a developmental relationship for each match. These developmental relationships are based on 5 key actions: By expressing care, challenging growth, providing support, sharing power and expanding possibilities, mentors are able to support their mentees in igniting potential.
Young people who experience strong developmental relationships are more likely to report a wide range of social-emotional strengths and other indicators of well-being and thriving. Further to this, mentoring can open doors to higher education, assuring youth a higher earning potential throughout their lives.
I’m sure we can all remember a time that we had a special person who made a significant impact in our life, whether that be a teacher, coach, peer, or parent. As we head in to 2022, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a BIG difference for a young person in Calgary.
As a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area myself, I can attest to the positive impact that mentorship has for not only my mentee, but for myself. Mentorship is a wonderful way to volunteer and strengthen the community as a whole.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area is so grateful for our partnerships with community builders like the corporations and companies that are part of Calgary Corporate Challenge. We are thrilled to have been selected as a charity partner with Calgary Corporate Challenge for 2022.
Interested in learning more about mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area? You can visit bbbscalgary.ca/volunteer to start your mentoring journey today!
Calgary Corporate Challenge is proud to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area, one of 10 local charity partners in the 2022 September Games.