We recently launched our public awareness campaign to promote the Mayor's Mentoring Movement, an initiative with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to recruit 1,000 new mentors to serve Boston youth. The campaign shows real mentors who have joined the movement and are helping to support and guide young people in Boston.
Today, we feature a face from the campaign: Miguel Perez-Luna, a mentor through Earthen Vessels, one of the Mayor's Mentoring Movement partner programs.
Why do you think mentoring is important?
Mentoring is important because it provides guidance and a trusting relationship that allows for fulfilling growth. When you're young and growing up, it's really challenging to know how your behaviors will influence your future. It helps to have a mentor who can listen to you about your life, your issues, your joys, your concerns, and in return offer some sort of guidance to help you navigate those things. Furthermore, establishing a strong relationship built on trust and support is paramount to helping the mentee grow to be their best. Without a mentor, it can be easy to pursue a mistaken path. That's why I think mentoring is important: it gives a mentee an opportunity to flourish through a fulfilling path.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I was very fortunate to have many mentors in my life: my parents, my older brothers, my teachers and many other adults and peers who always guided me towards success. I did not want their support to end with me. I had the privilege to devote a few hours a week to mentoring and so I decided to pass on their support by assuming the role of a mentor myself. I have enjoyed working with my mentee. Seeing him learn to embrace challenges and to challenge himself has been rewarding.
What have you learned through being a mentor?
Through being a mentor, I learned way more than I expected to learn. Above all, I learned how to be patient! Working to build a relationship and establish a mindset of success can be really, really hard. But with persistence and patience, really good things can happen. My mentee and I have made large strides over the course of our four years together! Another lesson that I have learned is that expectations matter. With my mentee, it was important for me to set high expectations. Setting high expectations signaled that we were serious about being successful and that we wouldn't stop working until we were satisfied with our work.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your mentee?
My favorite times that I've spent with my mentee have been when we just sit and talk about things - about school, soccer, the Dominican Republic, baseball, food - anything. It's in these moments that we were able to establish a relationship built on trust and support.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved in mentoring?
Do it! Be a mentor! It's incredibly rewarding and refreshing to work with young people. The hours you put into mentoring really do pay off - and you can see your successes in a tangible way. Whether you help a child master a multiplication problem or take them to a Red Sox game, all of your support builds them into the person they are and will one day be. It's exciting to be a part of their success.
Are you ready to join Miguel in the movement? Sign up today!