Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month? Last year President Obama officially proclaimed it stating, “Mentors play a vital role in this national mission by helping to broaden the horizons for our daughters and sons.”
At ElevArte mentorship plays a fundamental purpose in the lives of at-promise young people: our Each One/Reach One Mentorship Program pairs teens with artists and working professionals. From preparing teens in career-readiness, visiting potential colleges, to experiencing all the fun this city has to offer, young people truly reap the benefits of having a positive adult role model in their lives.
We can tell you countless stories of how mentorship has impacted ElevArte youth, but we thought you would rather hear from the mentors and mentees directly.
What does mentorship mean to you?
Christopher Thomopolous (mentor)
“A chance to share my experiences to help better someone else going through life. We are all faced with difficult situations and decisions; being able to talk and connect with a mentor can really help.”
Carlos Zamora (mentee)
“Always having someone there for me to talk to and relate to. Having a mentor is a new thing for me and I personally feel like mine helps me in bad times and in good and I'm so grateful to be a part of the mentorship program. My mentor is a 24/7, 365 days a year friend who will guide me in everything and anything I do. My mentor also teaches me cool new skills and things every time we're together. Mentorship is a privilege to be a part of.”
Sonia Rodriguez (mentor)
“An opportunity to share my experiences in the hopes that they will help someone else reach their personal, emotional, and/or professional aspirations. As a mentor I want to serve as a safe space for my mentee. I try to approach our relationship with humility and optimism. I understand that my role isn't to know everything but that I should be willing to learn from and with my mentee.”
Jessica Rodriguez (mentee)
“Having someone you can go to for school-related advice or any concerns in life. Being in this mentorship program has also helped a lot in my art skills. I've gone to art museums and watched documentaries about people's struggles and how they were able to go through every obstacle. My mentor has taught me that life can be hard, but there shouldn't be anything to stop me from accomplishing my goals in life.”
Christopher Kremer (mentor)
“A chance to build relationships with youth in the art community, and provide the support and tools necessary to help them achieve their goals. Through collaborative art projects, recreational outings, and consuming many carne asada tacos it is clear that mentorship is more than just setting goals for the mentee. The bond that is created affirms that youth have great purpose and achievement in the community and much can be learned from them. “
Adriel DelaCruz (mentee)
“Someone you build a relationship with and helps guide you through certain things. I also feel like its great emotional support as well because it is great to know that there's someone I can talk to about almost anything. It is also a good character builder because you learn how to communicate with each other and make plans, which I have improved on. Lastly it is a great friendship to have and an awesome experience. I would recommend a mentorship to any young person.”
ElevArte is thankful to have an amazing team of mentors who truly care about making a difference in a young person’s life. Do you have a mentor who had a positive influence on you? Share your story in the comments below.
If you are interested in being a mentor you can access the application here.