When I reflect on the things that I have been able to achieve so far, I recognize that my family set high expectations for me because they knew what I could accomplish. However, I could not have done it alone; I have benefited from the influence of lots of mentors. Whether it was my older sister who I looked up to as a young USY teen or my boss teaching me the ins & outs of advertising as a Springboard Social Media Intern, I would be nowhere without the guidance and leadership of people in the Jewish community, which has been my home for the past 17 years.
The best mentors are fun to work with, they give their energy and come to work with enthusiasm, excitement, and eagerness to move projects forward. It can be hard to admit that we can’t do something by ourselves, but the best mentors have been those that I can go to if problems arise- and they usually do. Mentors can help turn problems into growth opportunity. I personally, am not always the best at going to others for advice, but at times, the mentors, advisors, and staff members in my life have reached out when they noticed that I needed help, and their support has shaped into the person that I am today.
The mentor-mentee relationship is more than just a simple tango between a more senior person and a junior one. We often think about makes the ideal mentor, but it is equally valuable to think about what makes someone a good mentee. This isn't just a student-teacher type of relationship, in a positive relationship, both a mentor and mentee can learn from each other. I have so much to learn from the staff of my programs. Through trusted connections between my mentors and I, I have learned what it means to not only be a mentor, but also a Dugma (דוגמא: Hebrew for leader or example).
-Maddie Brim, 2017 18 Under 18 Honoree
Do you have a trusted mentor or youth professional that deserves recognition? If you're interested in thanking and celebrating your favorite Jewish Youth Professional for all their hard work and passion, nominate them here for the LEAD (Leader, Educator, Advisor, Dugma) Award.