Have you thanked your mentors yet?

LinkedIn—the popular social networking website almost everyone uses nowadays—recently launched a new initiative in collaboration with The National Mentoring Partnership to celebrate mentoring and encourage others to become mentors.  LinkedIn is asking its members to share their mentoring stories using the hashtag #ThankYourMentor.  The initiative also provides a database of mentoring programs that users can get involved in.

Having role models and supportive adults throughout one's life is something that is very familiar for most people.  Mentors can make a profound impact in the lives of their mentees, and mentors can be supportive in a lot of ways—from helping you kick butt in an interview for your dream job to giving you the courage to finally pursue your passion.  For others, however, the difference between having a supportive mentor in their lives can be the difference between staying in school or dropping out.

These surprising survey statistics from our The Mentoring Effect report highlight just how crucial mentors can be:

  • More than 75 percent of at-risk young adults who had a mentor aspire to enroll in and graduate from college versus 56 percent of at-risk young adults who had no mentor.
  • 45 percent of at-risk young adults with mentors are also more likely to be enrolled in college versus 29 percent of those without a mentor.
  • 48 percent of those with a mentor are more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities versus 27 percent without a mentor.
  • 51 percent with a mentor are more likely to hold leadership positions in a school club versus 22 percent without a mentor.
  • 67 percent of those with a mentor are more likely to participate regularly in sports and extracurricular activities versus 37 percent without a mentor.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 young adults who were mentored report they are interested in becoming mentors themselves.

Thinking about my own life, there are definitely some people that made a tremendous impact on my life, but one person in particular comes in mind.  So here is my #ThankYourMentor story-

Mrs. French was my ESL teacher when I was in elementary school, but she was more than just someone who helped me learn English from kindergarten onwards.  She embraced my whole family, quickly becoming friends with my grandmother (despite the language barrier).  She drove me to and from my after-school Girl Scout Brownie meetings at a time when my mother didn't have her driver's license (sadly I never graduated to become a full-on Girl Scout), enrolled my sister and I in day camps during the summers, helped organize my 5th birthday party, and even took us to go see my first English film in theaters (it was the movie version of Harriet the Spy, and as a good ESL teacher, she bought me the books to read as well).  As far as caring adults go, Mrs. French definitely takes the first place trophy.

So what are you waiting for? #ThankYourMentor today!