I Am A Mentor – Danielle

We are celebrating National Mentoring Month by sharing why we chose to become mentors! Here’s what Teacher/Mentor Danielle had to say:

I was raised by a single mother and while we were very close, having a mentor made a big difference in my life. My mentor helped me believe in myself and stay on track to reach college. I know it was a huge help to my mom to have her looking out for me as well. 

One of the biggest ways in which my mentor helped me was by boosting my confidence. Low self-esteem is something that I see many young women struggling with and it leads to poor choices. Sometimes it’s hard for teenagers to see the greatness within themselves.  When I point out the things that they are great at, it’s like a bright light turning on.

When you come from adversity you have to be resilient. Many of our students don’t have a safe place to sleep, or know where their next meal is coming from. If you can hold your head up after that, you can overcome any struggle. I try to show students how to use their natural resiliency in every aspect of their lives.

My students constantly impress me and give me hope.  As a mentor, I have to be my best possible self because I am their role model. Being a mentor allows me to share my experiences with my students and build a relationship with them. We get to acknowledge that outside life affects their academic performance. Understanding the challenges they face at home is so important.

We see students making bad choices to get attention, or acting out because they are hurting. These are the kids that need the most support and it’s hard for them to ask for help. We have to show them that we aren’t going to give up on them. These are amazing kids that just need someone to believe in them.

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