Navigating Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles: Mentorship as a Source of Support

For young people dealing with difficult circumstances, guidance and support through mentorship can be an essential source of motivation. Truancy, poor graduation rates, and disengagement from academic pursuits can confine a high school student to a challenging pathway. Stepping in with compassionate and regular mentorship, however, truly can make a difference. If you’re serving as a mentor, use these strategies to help your mentee navigate challenges and overcome obstacles.

Make Goal Setting a Priority

High school students who lack strong support networks may have aspirations that were dwindled. One of the best ways to help reroute a young person’s life is through goal setting. As the mentor, you can help shape their goals, but you should let your mentee take the lead. Do this through honest conversation and active listening. 

Ask your mentee what subjects or jobs interest them, or where they see themself in five years. Such questions may be met with reluctant or unclear answers, but, as a mentor, you can help your mentee set shorter-term goals first. For example, this may include attending optional study sessions or blocking out concrete timeframes to tackle homework. Plan on taking your mentee to job shadowing opportunities or other events where they can learn about professional career tracks available to them, too. These experiences beyond the classroom can be impactful ones that motivate your mentee to set educational or career goals. 

Empower Young People with Mentoring 

With chronic absenteeism roughly double what it was before the pandemic, educators and mentors face steep challenges engaging students. While mentors can guide and support during their one-on-one sessions with a mentee, they also need to plant seeds of wisdom that can help a mentee make wise choices outside of their meetings. A good mentor can empower a mentee to feel confident in making decisions, such as declining activities that cut into homework time or school attendance, that keep their long-term goals within reach. 

We work to empower young people at OhanaHC through a robust mentorship program that exposes students to several mentors. In doing so, we help our students feel stronger engagement with their coursework and, most importantly, a sense of empowerment regarding their futures. 

Provide Guidance and Support Through Mentorship for Long Term Success

A mentor may meet with a mentee for a prescribed period of time over several months or years. Regular mentorship during an individual’s teenage years can be a springboard for future success. Regular meetings can improve a young person’s interpersonal skills, attitude, and relationships with others. These soft skills transcend all types of educational pathways and can help a mentee feel more confident heading into new situations. 

At OhanaHC, we put students first and equip them with opportunities to forge meaningful connections with mentors and community members. If you want to support the positive development of young people, we will help you step into the right role. Please fill out the contact form on our website or email us at info@ohanahc.org to learn more!

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Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

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