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The Importance of Mentors

Iroshini Kalpage Program Development Officer Emerge Lanka

The mentorship program is an important event for the shelter girls; who always wait until the end of the month to meet their lovely mentors. During their session, they share things; for example, sometimes mentees and mentors discover they are the same age. Last week during our session, we decided to do a book for mentees. This book will be one that they can keep and write down what we doing in the sessions; mentors can write some quotes in them also or just share anything helpful with the girls. Last week, when mentors and mentees were together, they made such a colorful book!

Mentees were really happy with the book, too! It is very valuable to them, and I saw where some mentors helped the girls draw pictures, which they really like. I read an article about mentoring and would like to share it with everybody.

From “The Important of Mentors,” by Susan E. Metros:

“Mentoring is a professional activity, a trusted relationship, a meaningful commitment.The origins of mentoring can be traced back to ancient Greece as a technique to impart to young men important social, spiritual, and personal values. Mentoring as we know it today is loosely modeled on the historical craftsman/apprentice relationship, where young people learned a trade by shadowing the master artisan. In the mid-70s, corporate America redefined mentoring as a career development strategy. The concept of mentoring faculty and administrators is relatively new to higher education and rare in information technology circles, where staff professional development often takes the form of technical manuals and certifications. It is precisely this type of support organization, however, that needs a strong foundation of mentoring to build and retain a healthy workforce that can react quickly to change and can develop, adapt, and regenerate itself over time.

Mentoring relationships range from loosely defined, informal collegial associations in which a mentee learns by observation and example to structured, formal agreements between expert and novice co-mentors where each develops professionally through the two-way transfer of experience and perspective. Whether the relationship is deemed formal or informal, the goal of mentoring is to provide career advice as well as both professional and personal enrichment. We define a mentoring relationship as helping and supporting people to “manage their own learning in order to maximize their professional potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be.”

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