By Jennifer Miller, 518 ElevatED Board Member and Mentor

As this new year begins you may reflect or consider making resolutions that are full of possibilities for growth and change. But as you consider your year ahead, you might want to think about not just what changes you want to make as an individual (eating right, exercising, etc.) but what is it that you want to give back to your community and future generations. Now more than ever, we


need professionals willing to step up and mentor the next generation, especially high school students. Given the recent and ongoing pandemic, students face many challe

nges and having someone to talk to that has insight and experience can make a huge difference in their lives.

Becoming a ment

or with 518 ElevatED is one great way to give back but often we think we can’t commit. As a former mentor and current board member for 518 ElevateED, let me share the top three reasons you should and can become a mentor this year:

1. Make a Difference – What will you contribute to the future? As a mentor, you can support the journey of a high school student in Albany, Schenectady, or Troy who has dreams and plans but needs support and insight to realize them. As their mentor, you could share your story, listen and show up when they need to share or help them think through their educational interests. By investing your time, you will provide support for making a difference in the life of the student and your community.

2 Grow Personally and Professionally – How are you growing? As a mentor, you grow both personally and professionally. You not only learn from your student but grow through the experiences you share with them. As a bonus for those early in their careers, you show potential employers that you care about developing the next generation adding to your skills in the workplace and as a leader3 Give Back (and it’s not as much time as you think) – Do you have 2-4 hours a month? Mentoring with 518 ElevatED is only a few hours a month and you and your student decide when and where to meet. Typically, you meet in person once a month for an activity like dinner, a movie, or a walk in the park and then check in via text. It’s a year commitment to start but it’s renewable and you will receive training and plenty of support.

When I became a mentor, I wanted to give back, but I didn’t have much time. The flexibility of this program and the support of the staff and other mentors make it possible. Becoming a mentor changed me for the better both personally and professionally. I hope you will consider this opportunity to make a difference, grow, and give back in this new year.

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