Mentoring 101

Characteristics of a Great Mentor



Listen, Listen, Listen

If you are more interested in what you’re going to say next verses listening to what we’ve got to say you are not listening. Do not think about your next story while we are talking. This is also not listening. Don’t try to change our points to match something that happened in your life. If you can’t relate then that’s ok. Just listening helps. 


Be willing to share when things did not go so good for you. Don’t share just the good stories. Tell us about the times you made a mistake or a bad decision. Tells us how you screwed up and how you did or didn’t deal with it. Let us know about lost loves, bad choices, things you still regret. 

Commit to us

Sometimes we get busy and are just learning to manage our time. Be insistent and maybe email us, text us or call us more than once. Of course please don’t reach harassment levels. Also respect us when you agree to meet with us don’t cancel at the last minute. It’s hard for us to find rides, clear our schedules. It also might be something we've been looking forward to all day so if you cancel it might be a bigger let down then you realize.  

Eliminate Distractions

Set an example and put your phone down, better yet, turn it off. Adults don’t seem to release they are very guilty of this and think this is a teenage problem. Don’t choose a location where you know you will run into a lot of people you know. Keep outside discussion brief. Let us know our time together is important. 

Celebrate with us

Celebrate the small stuff or big stuff. Be proud of us. Ask me how I would like to observe my milestones. 

Build trust

Don’t talk about us to others. Don’t brag to your friends about how you helped us through something. Don’t talk to your significant others about what we confided in you to help us through. Discretion is important. 

Activities to share



Sometimes ideas are not our strong point so things you could suggest are:

· Meeting over coffee 

· Going for a walk

· Becoming Exercise buddies

· Fundraisers (great way to show us how to network)

· Attending a Concert

· Community events 

· Getting our nails done

· Volunteer opportunities

· Cooking together

· Community Education class and Learning together

· Attending a speaker or open mic night

· College campus events

Please keep in mind that financial reasons and transportation may be just some of the reasons we may choose to not participate. Be clear of the expectations and costs. 

Calling all Young Women



We would love to receive input from you on things Mentors should know. 

Our next topic for discussion would be: How does an adult woman who wants to be a mentor connect with a young woman to mentor? 

Email your thoughts to

What is the difference between a Role Model and a Mentor?

Image by Shyama Golden


A role model is someone who may not be actively involved with us directly. We may admire them from afar because we have never met them. It may just be one instance they were involved in that we respect. It could be characteristics or some achievements. 

Mentors can be all that but they connect with us directly. This person interacts with us and is sincerely interested in us. We set goals together and build a friendship.