HobbiesNational Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Month was launched in 2002, but its roots stretch back thousands of years to the character Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey and to the countless individuals since then whose support, knowledge, and guidance as mentors have positively impacted individuals, their communities, and civilizations.

Mentor National and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health created National Mentoring Month to focus national attention on the need for mentors and the ways each of us can work together to improve the lives of others. National Mentoring Month is supported by a long list of well-known celebrities, political leaders, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who themselves benefitted from mentors and became mentors themselves.

The benefits of mentoring

We tend to think of a mentor as the “giver” and the mentee as the “receiver,” but most mentorships are a two-way street, with both parties learning and growing. Some mentorships are considered a three-way street because of the benefits mentoring can add to organizations, such as facilitating the growth and development of leaders, and creating a more inclusive and collaborative environment. As they work together, both mentors and their mentees often realize “It’s not where your start, it’s where you end up.”


From a mentor’s perspective, the potential benefits include:

  • Gaining a new perspective by looking through the lens of the mentee, with the opportunity for self-reflection
  • Building confidence by recognizing how much progress they have made
  • Developing and/or improving leadership and communications skills
  • Gaining satisfaction from giving back to someone else, and seeing them succeed
  • Creating a lasting friendship
  • Expanding connections and networks


From a mentee’s perspective, the potential benefits include:

  • Gaining insights and practical knowledge from a more experienced person
  • Avoiding potential mistakes and/or errors in judgment
  • Increasing self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Improving communication skills
  • Identifying and correcting gaps in skills or knowledge
  • Creating a lasting friendship
  • Expanding connections and networks


Consider “giving back” and “paying it forward” by becoming a mentor

For those who want to demonstrate how adept they are at multi-tasking, it’s possible to “give back” and “pay it forward” at the same time through mentoring. To learn about mentoring opportunities near you, The Mentoring Connector offers a national database of mentoring programs. You may also want to take advantage of the toolkits, videos, and upcoming events planned for National Mentoring Month.



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