Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

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January is National Mentor Month

Will You Become a Mentor in 2020?

Mentoring someone can forge the building blocks of your own success while helping others reach their greater potential. Sometimes being a mentor to someone is not as obvious as having a name tag that says “Mentor” or saying, “I’ll be your mentor.” Providing advice, training or sharing stories of success could place you in the role of mentor. January is National Mentor Month and the start of the New Year. Why not make the resolution to become someone’s mentor and help them succeed and reach their goals?

Why is mentoring so important? If you are a self-advocate who has conquered gaining independence and equitable employment, how did you get where you are now? Did someone assist you along the way? Or, did you find out how to secure housing and a job on your own? More times than not, individuals see someone else succeeding and start asking questions to find out how they did it. This person could be a friend, family member, co-worker or even an acquittance. That person likely started answering your questions and giving you advice as different trials, barriers or instances arose in your life. They have become a mentor to you whether you call them one or not. They have made a positive impact on your life and helped you get where you need to go.

Is it your turn to indirectly return the favor and become a mentor to someone else? Often individuals with a developmental disability (DD) encounter barriers like independent living away from a family member, finding transportation to employment opportunities, to the grocery store and even to the doctor, applying and being hired into employment, and more. You were provided the tools to become a self-advocate and fight for those same things because you were likely mentored on how to do so. What will you do when you encounter another individual with DD who may be experiencing what you just went through? Will you step up and tell your story? Will you tell them what steps will help them?

We found a list of 10 great reasons mentoring is a must from and couldn’t pass them up.

  1. Mentors provide information and knowledge.
  2. Mentors can see where we need to improve where we often cannot.
  3. Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth
  4. Mentors offer encouragement and help keep us going.
  5. Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves.
  6. Mentors are sounding boards so we can bounce ideas off them for an unfiltered opinion.
  7. Mentors are trusted advisers.
  8. Mentor can be connectors.
  9. Mentors have experiences you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes beginners make.
  10. Mentors are free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one.


About the Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.