Service can lead to meaningful connections.
True service comes from a desire to help others, rather than from an expectation of rewards or recognition. Youth may choose to serve family, friends, members of the community, animals, the environment, and/or a wide range of causes and groups. When youth develop and exercise a spirit of service, they create meaningful connections with others and come to see their power to positively influence others and improve their communities.
Service can be a hard concept for many youth.
Because childhood and adolescence are a time of self-involvement, service does not come easily to many young people, especially those who struggle to have their basic needs met on a regular basis. Some youth are accustomed to being on the receiving end of generosity and may not think they are capable of making a meaningful contribution to others. Others simply have not had ample opportunities to practice service. And still other youth continually put others before themselves, leaving themselves open to being dominated or manipulated.
Encourage your mentee to develop a spirit of generosity.
You can promote your mentee’s sense of generosity by allowing her to see how you express generosity and helping her think about and explore opportunities to give back. You can help your mentee focus on the countless ways she can engage with the community by sharing her time and talents.