11th Day of Giving : Be a Mentor

sp1small.jpg It’s been said the greatest gift you can give is giving of yourself. Mentoring is the best way to share your talents with another. Nurturing someone else’s talents and ideas is a rewarding experience everyone needs to try once in my not so humble opinion. For me the added bonus is that during those discussions my own eyes and ideas are opened and expanded.

This last spring a friend of the family asked me if I could give them a hand. Their daughter’s High School has graduation project, a thesis no less that required them seeking a mentor to complete. Their daughter Lauren wanted to do her thesis on “digital photograph enhancing” with an emphasis on false color. They asked, I accepted and the next 6 months were the most fun I had in ages working with her on just those topics.

This photo is one of Lauren’s that we worked on and discussed during one of our sessions. (It does get a bit bigger with a click). Nice use of false color and she showed a sense of Decisive Moment that we worked on during the course of the mentoring.

More ideas on mentoring options after the jump.

Informal mentoring happens in many ways. I work with a local artists association. I don’t proclaim to be an expert, but I do help the new artists that show up with ideas on how to present their work at shows. We meet at times after our regular meetings going through portfolio’s discussing what works or doesn’t prior to submitting their work for jurying.

Contacting your schools and making your talents known is another way to mentor. There will be students in need of extra help that you may be the perfect fit to boost them along. Sometimes it may be a student with a talent or interest the teacher can’t address fully due to classroom size…but you could.

Formal mentoring options in LA Metro will generate numerous hits when you google it. A few options to get you started when I ran a search the other day. Amazing Kids, California Mentor Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

2 thoughts on “11th Day of Giving : Be a Mentor”

  1. I’ve been a Big Sister to a now-teenager for almost four years and it has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences ever. There’s something amazing about making a tangible difference in a child’s life. I highly recommend looking into Big Brothers Big Sisters!

  2. I’ve been on both sides of mentoring, having had a volunteer Big Brother at a crucial time in my early-to-mid teens and later on becoming one to a fatherless boy from 1995 to 1999. There are few things in my life that have been more fulfilling.

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