Welcome to the Mentoring Minute for the month of November! This month, we will be focusing on how to build resilience in the students we mentor.

So, what exactly do we mean by resilience?

Resilience is the ability to cope with and bounce back in the face of life’s challenges and demands. It’s having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or setbacks.

We often used the term “resiliency” to describe someone who is able to weather the storms of life. On the other hand, the opposite of resilience is a sense of powerlessness, which is often how students begin to feel if they are constantly being rescued from those storms (instead of being taught how to weather them).

This is where your role as a mentor is so important! There are several factors that build resilience in students, and one of them is the presence of an important/connected/caring adult outside of their family circle…that’s you! As a mentor, you can model and teach your mentee strategies for how to deal with challenges in their lives (both now and in the future). You can start doing this by making your student feel secure, connected, and valued when you are together. These feelings are all a part of a healthy mentoring relationship, and they are created when you are a mentor who…

Shows up consistently
Listens well
Respects your mentee’s opinions, and
Encourages positive connections with friends, family, and the community.

Check back next week as we look at some specific ways that we can build resilience in the students we mentor.

–Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach