The power of mentorship

This morning, I was getting some help to de-virus my computer at work when a young man walked into YOU’s offices. He was wearing a hat, white t-shirt and jeans. He looked familiar but I didn’t immediately place him because many youth come and go from our offices with just brief interactions.

He asked me if I had found his mentor, a Mr. Paul Martin, formerly an employee with the Port Antonio branch of NCB Bank. It then clicked: this young man, Mr. Nicholas Christie, had come in earlier this year looking for his mentor. I had called the Port Antonio branch with no avail: they did not know where he had gone. I had tried to call Nicholas to tell him but his cell phone number had changed.

But Nicholas has clearly not given up trying to find his former mentor. This shows the power of the mentoring relationship. I know first-hand the bond that forms; the time spent with one another, the older guiding the younger with practical advice, but often learning and getting more from their mentee than the reverse.

Just yesterday I heard from my mentee in Canada that she just finished exams after her first year at college. She is working part-time as well. That relationship has brought immeasurable joy to me as I have seen her grow up from the age of nine. When she was that age, we used to hang out and do crafts or play hang-man and just talk in a small office at her school. As she got older, we would go shopping or go to the movies or just grab a meal. Our relationship has grown from a formalized one (she was matched with me through a community organization) to a friendship. We now exchange stories and laugh together and talk about her future and the relationship is a pleasure for me.

Which brings me back to Nicholas. He really wants to find his former mentor, as well as find a job. He reminded me that he is unemployed but just completed a first-aid course. I told him I would try again to locate Mr. Martin. I have put a call in to the NCB headquarters and put the call for help out on social media.

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