Having a mentor/mentee relationship is both a binding and fulfilling bond for everyone involved. Being able to have that special someone with whom you can look forward to spending time, is one of the greatest feelings anyone can experience, especially foster youth.
The holiday season brings joy to many, but also brings a sense of gloom and loneliness to some. Being out in the community with a special friend will definitely help both mentor and mentee – and if you can find a good enough activity most, if not all, gloom will be forgotten.
Activities that can be done this holiday range from simple arts and crafts projects to ice skating together in the park. It’s best to do stuff that you have a common interest in, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try out some new things. If you’ve never been sledding try it out together; if you would like to do something for the community, do some volunteer work at a soup kitchen. If you’re interested in learning a new language and like a challenge, try learning Chinese. I hear it’s tough to learn! As long as you’re doing something that you can find enjoyable together that’s what really matters. There may be fewer free events happen in the winter, than in the summer, but I’m positive with some research, you will find some cheap, if not free things out in the community.
This can be a tough time of the year for many of people, especially for most youth in foster care. They may stay in their state-funded residences all winter break, just to go back to school and hear about their friends’ winter fun with their families. In these cases, they’ll either stay silent because they feel ashamed of their lives, or they’ll lie to cover up for what they really did. But to have a mentor, who will take time out of their life to engage with a youth, to make new, fun memories together that youth can look back fondly upon – that seems right to me.
In conclusion, being in a mentor/mentee relationship can be an amazing experience. With the right amount of curiosity and wonder there is nothing that the duo can’t get done together. Use the time not to just enjoy each other’s company but to also help each other grow and prosper.
Have a happy holiday and great New Year.
Henry is a youth leader with Silver Lining Mentoring and has been matched with mentor Justin for over 15 years.