On February 12th, AccessPoint on Danforth launched its first meet and greet between youth and mentors as part of the Youth Departments Mentorship Program. This event welcomed 10 mentors from various careers including accounting, law, art and international relations. The program was established in response to youth who wanted more information about professions they were interested in. In the initial planning stages an assessment was made of the career interest of the youth and from there targeted recruitment of professionals in those respective fields followed. These professionals were then matched with and introduced to interested youth at the event. Mentors were eager to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with the nearly 20 youth who were present. It was wonderful to have so many youth come to the event and the success of the event was not in just the numbers but in the seedlings of relationships that were planted and will continue to grow.
In my previous positions as a youth worker in the United States and in my current position as volunteer youth worker it has given me great joy to see adults invested in the next generation. I think it is crucial not only for the development of the youth to have the perspectives and experiences of adults but mentoring allows for legacy creation in everyday folks. What mentoring presents is an opportunity to share ones successes and failures in a way that is presently impactful and may cast an imprint over the future of that individual. When we as people from diverse experiences and ages share our stories with one another, we give each other the gifts of vulnerability, wisdom and courage. Unfortunately, in our current society with all that the digital world has to offer, there are limited opportunities for this kind of intergenerational cultivation.
Mentoring not only provides gifts for the youth, but a mentor is also gifted with the ability to connect with their inner youth, to learn more about a younger generation and to explore new ideas and experiences. I look forward to all that will blossom out of these new mentoring relationships.
Written by: Christina Crider