Mentoring and Coaching: A New Idea....

Mentorship & Coaching

When I was younger, I had a few people who really supported me--my riding instructors, some great teachers (Mrs. Knack, Mrs. Mitchell, I'm looking at you!), my parents, older and wiser friends and siblings--these were folks I knew I could go to if I ever needed anything--advice, ideas, support, a tub of ice cream after a breakup (and there were a few of those....more than a few), insight into my future, you name it, these people were there for me. And I, now, as a 36 year old grown ass woman, am SO grateful.

A couple weeks ago, a friend mentioned to me that she looks at me as a mentor--granted, I'm older than her (but not by thaaat much...), but I was still blown away by that word "mentor"--and very honored.  After our conversation, I spent some time thinking about what it means to be a mentor, and I came up with a few ideas:

  • Someone you trust with your ideas, your worries, your hopes and your dreams.
  • Someone who is honest, will give it to you truthfully, and tell you if you're heading down a ridiculous rabbit hole.
  • Someone who has a bit of experience in the world and in life (key word "bit")
  • Someone who has the time and the capacity to focus on you for a little bit each day or each week to ensure you feel valued and supported.

Well! I can do that and I have done that--a few months ago, when I left Northview to go to GRPS, I partnered with the Northview Mentoring Program and pulled together a group of 6 9th grade girls to pilot a group mentoring program. Northview has an awesome mentoring program that has been in place for years, but it usually begins at the middle school level with a one on one meeting with a community mentor and the student--the group mentoring was a new thing and after about 8 weeks of meeting with my group, I can say, a successful thing. It was fantastic and I hope to continue next year with the same girls. We text each other now, ask for advice on movies and books, and generally just rely on one another--it's amazing to see kids who didn't know one another at all, or who ran in very different social circles, becoming friends and allies in the high school experience.

Another thing too--mentoring, really, isn't all that complicated--it's basically just sitting with another person, listening and offering advice. With my girls from Northview, we talk about all sorts of stuff--favorite television shows, struggles with certain classes, issues at home, things we are looking forward to for the weekend--it's simple--and it's only 15 minutes a week!

Ok, so here's what I'm proposing--Mentorship and Coaching by Me....crazy? Maybe? 

So, who could this be a great fit for? are some ideas:

  • You're starting a new photography business and you want some advice.
  • You're starting a photography business and want to meet for workshops/brainstorming/troubleshooting.
  • You're a teenager who can't talk to your parents, but maybe you could talk to me.
  • You're a parent of a teenager who feels like you can't talk to your teenager, but maybe your teenager could talk to me.
  • You're a young teacher who needs a shoulder to lean on.
  • You're a parent who needs some support navigating the public school system in West Michigan.
  • You're a parent who needs ideas on how to advocate for your student and your family in school in West Michigan.
  • You're a parent who needs advice on why teenagers act so strangely (cause let's be real, they do).
  • You're new to Grand Rapids area and you want to meet some new folks.
  • You're a parent who needs someone to talk with your teenager about how to use social media respectfully.
  • You're a teenager who is dealing with bullying and need someone to listen.
  • You're a rad person who just wants someone to talk through ideas with and who can guide you in a generally appropriate direction. 

First things first--let me be very clear--I do NOT have all the answers at all, but I would love to help you find some answers. I am not trying to suggest that I am an expert in any of these areas and, in fact, I have no doubt I will likely learn just as much for this experience as you might! Learning from one another is a huge goal for what I'm thinking here. 

Anyway, maybe you're interested? Maybe you think this is ridiculous? I'm gauging interest and would LOVE your feedback. Seriously--the good, the bad and the ugly--I can take it. Either way, would love to hear from you using the form below!

Name *
Investment *
How much would this be worth to you?