Top 10 Reasons NOT to Mentor

Think you can’t be a mentor? Think again.

Here’s why you should reconsider these Top 10 Reasons NOT to Mentor.

If you want to learn more about mentoring and what it takes to be a good mentor, please click here. Or if you think you’re ready to start mentoring, explore some available opportunities here.

10. I don’t have enough time.

We’re not saying you’re not busy, but we’ve been hard pressed to find someone who can’t set aside one hour a week to transform the life of a child. Sarah Chan is the mother of two young kids, a piano teacher, and a mayor’s wife. She tells us “if I can find time to volunteer, so can everyone.” Just think, trading an hour of TV time for a cool new activity may be the change you’ve been looking for.

9. I’m not good / have no experience with kids.

Honestly, that’s okay. You don’t need special talents to volunteer, just a desire to care about a kiddo. We provide modest training, your first meeting happens alongside one of our staff, and we share with you plenty of cool and inexpensive things you can do with your mentee.

8. I already volunteer for another organization.

You’re amazing! Our community has many organizations doing important work and we would never want to pull you away from them. We just ask that you consider whether you could fit one more hour of volunteering into your week. If you can, mentoring is a unique and rewarding way to give back. 

7. I have my own children.

By no means do we expect volunteers to spend less time with their own families. But maybe you have a teenager and want to spend an hour a week with a six-year-old, or vice versa.
Once your relationship with your mentee is fully formed, you can take your kids along on outings too. Think of it as setting a good example for your kids!

6. I’m too old / too young.

If you’re 18 or over, you can sign up as a mentor! (There are also special programs for teenage mentors).
Everyone, at every stage of their lives, has something positive to offer a child. Some kids want their mentor to be super young and hip while others prefer a wise figure in their life. Either way, kids can learn so much from you.

5. I don’t think I’d be a good role model to a kid.

This is one of the most common concerns we hear from potential volunteers. Do you plan to take kiddo to a bar? Show her how to steal from the grocery store? We didn’t think so. Even if you’ve had a shaky past yourself but have been able to recognize that, chances are you’ll be an amazing role model.

4. I don’t have a car to drive kids around.

No wheels, no license, no problem. We can simplify your commute by helping you volunteer at the same location each week, often within easy reach of public transit.
Ask about our in-school or club volunteering opportunities.If you want to work with kids, we can find something that works for you.

3. I don’t have money to spend on activities with kids.

We’re experts at finding low-cost and no-cost activities
to do with your kid. And if you need to pay, you’re only responsible for your part of the expense. The kiddo’s parents or guardians provide the money for the child to goon the outing. It means you have to confirm plans with the parents ahead of time, but it works pretty well for most of our volunteers.
Oh, and there are so many other things you can do with a kid for free every day… like playing catch in the park,building a snowman in the backyard, or discussing the book you’ve both finished reading.

2. I can’t volunteer every week because I work out of town / I can’t commit every week.

That’s absolutely okay. What we stress more than frequency is consistency. We’ve got matches who meet every week for an hour and others who meet once a month for an entire afternoon. Both ways, a consistent schedule lets the child know they can count on you.

1. I’m worried that the child won’t like me /we won’t have anything in common.

We’re experts at matching volunteers and children. Both of you go through an initial in-depth interview so we can learn as much as we can about each of you — your likes, dislikes, hobbies, traits — and make sure you’re interested in at least some of the same activities. You like hockey or swimming or baking? Then we’ll find you a child who does too, or at the very least who wants to learn.

You don’t have to be a superhero to become a mentor, but you’ll feel like one.