Mentoring Matters: The Great That I Am

About the Writer: Ebony Martin is a senior at the College of William & Mary. She is an Africana Studies major concentrating in African-American Studies. On campus, Ebony is involved in SPAN and serves as a research fellow for WMSURE. Ebony works in the Office of First Year Experience in undergraduate belonging and peer mentorship.

In response to the quote, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”- Bob Proctor

I think this quote is amazing and I think it embodies everything that a mentor should be for you. I have been mentored and I have been a mentor and I know for a fact that had my mentor not seen more in me than I did in myself that I would not be where I am today. I was pushed exhaustingly, I was given all the tools that I needed to be successful, but I was also encouraged. I was told, “I needed to stay out of my own way; that I needed to stop letting my own limitations hold me back from the great that I am.”
Even more than all of these things, I was supported. I was watched over, all of my events were attended when it could be done, all of my accomplishments, both big and small were magnified. I was given the confidence that I always wanted and needed. I feel like to be a mentor, you and your mentee have decided together that something in you has inspired them to want your guidance in one or more aspects of life.

After making that decision you and your mentee create a relationship that is built intentionally to help you navigate through those places that you feel they have obtained some sort of mastery. That is not to say that your mentor is all-knowing, but they have a great wealth of knowledge on the topic and some does and do nots from their own experiences, so at least your mistakes, if any can be different from the ones that they have made. You establish a relationship built on trust and reliability believing that this person wants to be by your side to help you to enhance the qualities that you already have even if you did not know that you had them.

This blog serves as a part of the Office of Student Leadership Development’s celebration of National Mentoring Month in our “Mentoring Matters” campaign.