For many, when we speak about being the mentor and changing a life, the immediate thought is to do something extraordinary. But big actions don’t always make the biggest impact. Being a mentor is all about taking small actions that will eventually make a big impact. What are these actions? We’ll be exploring them in today’s blog.
Head to the corners
For a lot of youth in the hood alcohol is an escape. So, what can you, as a mentor, do to create awareness regarding underage consumption of alcohol and the consequences thereof? A suggestion is to go to the places where the youth are most tempted. Head out into the streets where they usually hang out and engage them in a conversation about the dangers of underage drinking. By being in the places where they are normally tempted you can be there as the voice of reason when they need it most.
Anything to deal
Most people often don’t consider how much stress young people face and young people are rarely equipped to deal with these stresses. That’s why they sometimes lean towards alcohol to help them deal.
What can you, as a mentor, do to stop this? Try to teach the youth in your hood different ways to deal with the things that distress them daily. From exercise, to reading, to stress balls and writing, there are a number of ways to help them deal. Try to share your own personal stories and ways you cope, it will help you connect with them on a personal level.
“There is a lot of pressure to do well at school, but we are only young once and we all need to have fun and enjoy the present - responsibly.” She also wants to show her mentee that there are alternative activities to illegal drinking and consuming drugs. They should rather be focused on bettering their futures through their studies and laying strong foundations for their futures.
Don’t be the plug
Nowadays, it’s becoming easier and easier for young people to get their hands on alcohol. You can do various things to help young people not consume alcohol. This includes not buying alcohol on behalf of a young person, not giving them small sips of alcohol and choosing not to sell them alcohol.
You can also be a good example to the youth by sharing stories of how you overcame obstacles during your youth or how you avoided consuming alcohol during your youth. You can help make a positive change in a young person’s life. Now THAT is power.
All the suggestions we explored above prove one thing: mentorship isn’t just about one gigantic step with the hope that the youth will stop underage drinking. It’s about using what we have at our disposal, as small as we may think it is, to make a difference. Taking the pledge is just another way you can help a young person change their lives.
Your story is the bridge between a young person and a future they thought they were incapable of having. So, take the pledge, share your story and be part of the change.
If you want to be a part of the change, then visit www.bethementor.sab.co.za and start making a difference for the safer, cleaner, healthier South Africa that we all aspire to have.