Research Shows Mentoring Also Helps the Mentor
Vikram “Vik” Uppal is an entrepreneur and the cofounder of the Aid India organization, a charity dedicated to funding the basic needs of families in India. Outside of Aid India, Vikram Uppal volunteers as a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. A plethora of data shows why having a positive mentor is important for youths, but the mentor-mentee relationship also greatly benefits the mentor.
Mentors typically enter into a mentor-mentee relationship with the intent of giving. They are willing to give their time, energy, friendship, knowledge, and wisdom to a child or teen who needs it. Research shows, however, that mentoring often improves the mentor in multiple ways, like providing a greater sense of feeling needed, valued, and appreciated. Mentors also report overall better health, well-being, self-image, and self-worth, showing that helping others also allows you to help yourself.
Mentoring youth often entails helping them through tough experiences and circumstances. This provides an excellent opportunity for the mentor to come to grips or reexamine their own rough experiences as adolescents, helping patch up old wounds while trying to help someone else with their fresh ones.
While mentoring is certainly not something to enter into selfishly hoping to help yourself, the added benefits help provide non-monetary payment to this volunteer position, and might be used to help sway others into mentoring.