How you can be a great mentor: Follow the 4 C’s
January is National Mentoring Month! There is a significant mentoring gap in the United States – 9 million young people are growing up without a mentor. Having a mentor is important. Young people who grow up with a mentor are less likely to cut school and more likely to enroll in college, as well as participate in – and lead – extracurricular activities. Mentoring has a very real impact on both mentees and mentors, and it’s a special relationship. But it can be intimidating to get started.
Recently, we asked Myra Nawabi, a senior product engineer at Lockheed Martin and a Technovation mentor since 2014, to share her advice for new mentors. In Technovation, mentors support teams of young women as they identify a problem in their community and develop a mobile-app solution to solve that problem. For most girls, Technovation is their first exposure to programming and computer science, and many mentors feel pressure to be experts in computer science to best support their team. However, Technovation mentors don’t have to be experts in the field they’re mentoring in – mentoring is about bolstering confidence and being a sounding board, not having every single technical answer your mentee might have.