Mentoring is a cornerstone of programs supported by the Black Rose Foundation for Children.Where possible, mentoring is included in all we do and support. Our foundation became involved in the National CARES business of “securing a generation of children” through mentoring in 2008 with our partnership with the National CARES Mentoring Movement. We helped establish Memphis CARES Mentoring Movement and we also partner with Atlanta CARES Mentoring Movement. Our foundation’s seven years’ experience with mentoring has taught us that mentoring is rooted and grounded in love for children by adults who are open and able to acceptand care for children.
Love is indispensable in a mentoring relationship, love that’s constant with behaviors that affirm and celebrate children, who they are, wherever they are. Acceptance means we are willing to be “present” and to always listen to children. Mentoring in this way helps us bring out the innate essence of childrenso that they can learn to love themselves. And at the same time they recognize that others will accept them. Acceptance is an important characteristic of mentoring; you can’t fake it, it has to be genuine and authentic. Authenticity sounds complex but indeed it is simple, it means that in the process of being connected to another, especially a child, there is this touching of two spirits recognizing that deep down “I am because we are.”
Love, acceptance and caring can work together to begin, sustain, and grow mentoring relationships that can last a life time. I encourage all adults to take the initiative, whatever your age or station in life, to be a positive force in children’s lives. Become a mentor, help recruit mentors, contribute your time, talents, and treasures to organizations working on children’s behalf. Remember you are a role model that can also be a mentor for children. Most of all, know that mentoring is a calling that if rooted in the spirit of self- love and love for others can transform children’s lives.
If you are interested in mentoring, go to www.caresmentoring.org for more information.