Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why I chose to become a mentor (by Rashad Stallings)

I never had a mentor growing up but I did have people in my life that influenced me to do better. I came from a single parent home where all the odds were against me but I rose against them. I was the first of my family to attend and graduate from college. I chose to become a mentor for at-risk youth not to be a role model for them but to tell them my story in hopes of being an inspiration. I want the youth to know that it is possible to succeed when statistics have labeled you as a failure. Based upon experience and the research that has already been compiled, we know that when done well, youth mentoring holds great promise in helping young people succeed in life.

Rashad (center) poses with Coaching for Success teens Corey
and Jerrod at a teens-vs.-mentors kickball game he organized
One of my main goals in mentoring is to help. To let the triumph of my experiences and life struggles be an example for the youth. I became a listening ear, someone that they can trust and be able to communicate with. We all want someone who will listen to us without judging and that's what I want to be for them. I’ve chosen to help the mentees by showing them that there is more to life than what they see every day. I challenge them to dream, and not only to dream but to follow those dreams, to not settle and to be the best they can be.

Mentoring has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.  I believe that I am making a difference in someone else's life, as well as my own. Since I’ve been a mentor I have played a role in enhancing academic success, reducing juvenile crime, increasing self-esteem, revealing new opportunities and career paths for my mentee. I decided to be someone who matters to someone who matters.



  1. Very deep blog Rashad. "The statement We all want someone who will listen to us without judging" is extremely important. As a psych major, I realize most people just want to be heard w/o being criticized, esepcially the youth today.

  2. That is great Rashad keep up the good work. We need more young men like you.