Be who you needed when you were younger! Mentor. What a powerful way to change the future! In a time of uncertainty, bitterness, and hatred, we all need to spread love. Giving your time as a mentor can be an effective way to give joy to others and it can also give you joy.
I recently attended a final capstone presentation by two JMU students that I mentored. They stood before a classroom filled with other students and professors clearly nervous. The research they were doing was focused on offering solutions for affordable housing in Harrisonburg. I know from our conversations they had the knowledge they needed to offer a complete solution – they just needed to articulate it to the group. Their vision to create a better future for those in need is through the use of tiny houses. Their presentation offered an “ideal” house design that included energy-efficiency, health, and durable solutions. What a powerful and rewarding project for our community and to be part of as a mentor. I gave them a little of my time and knowledge and they are going to change the world! Now that is a solid return on investment.
I remember vividly my architecture teacher in high school, Sandy Workman, giving me this same gift. She shared her time and knowledge with me which set me on a path to help others through design. I often have high school students in my office through job shadow placements. I am continuing to pay it forward. Nate, for one, has spent the year with me learning how to design a house. He also gets to see how an architectural office functions. He is closing in on the end of his time in the office now. I look forward to seeing how he changes the world.
Serving as a mentor for the next generation is an easy gift to give to others. Setting an example will pay back for a lifetime.