Featured Newsletter - August

Leave a Legacy, Become A Mentor! 

By Johnathan Davidson

Mentor and Mentee

Think about the most influential person in your life up until this point. Who came to mind? What is your relationship with that person? How has their influence shaped the person you are today?

Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people. —Peter Strople

Chances are, this person isn’t famous or rich, but they managed to change your life profoundly. You can be that person for someone else! It is said that the highest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to them their own (quote adapted from Benjamin Disraeli). That is the role of a mentor. To inspire, and to lead not merely by instruction, but through guidance and encouragement. 

For me, this person was my high school volleyball coach. He saw potential in me that I could not see in myself; he led me past my limits and pushed our team of “average” student-athletes to become championship contenders. I have since gone on to lead groups of my own and seeing my students achieve great heights. This is the power of mentorship! Leaders create leaders.

Not sure where to start? It’s simple. What would you tell your younger self? Are there things you would change? Information you wished you had?

Be the person you needed when you were younger.

And you can! As UTM students of great diversity, experience and background you bring with you a breadth of knowledge that only you can share. As a mentor in one of our mentoring programs, you can be the voice of change that shapes a young person's life.

The aim of all of our mentoring programs is to meet youth where they are and build their confidence and ability on how to think, rather than what to think.  You can be that difference maker as one of our BIGs in the BIGs on-campus program where Peel Youth ages 9 - 14 years old get paired with a UTM mentor for a 20-week mentoring experience at UTM. Similarly, racialized youth need a space where they can be themselves, grow and form their identity. As a Black Youth Mentor, in our Black Youth Mentoring Program, UTM student mentors with a lived experience seek to provide a positive example of black identity.

The Indigenous Spirit Journey is a 12 week experiential and land-based learning based program based on indigenous philosophies, teachings and mentorship by UTM student mentors. Its impact can be best described by the following testimony shared by an ISJ participant at this years 2019 Giizhiitaa ISJ celebration

“I have never felt more important than I feel right now; I can accomplish anything.”  - ISJ, participant 2019

This is the power of mentorship! You can shape the future of our youth, to pass on your experience and leave a legacy. What will you do? To sign up for mentoring opportunities, visit https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/utm-engage/volunteering/youth-mentoring .