See that guy in the picture there? His name is Timothy Triplett. Tim is the owner of Concept Motor Sports in Oak Forest, IL. He has been involved with a kids mentoring program for 2 years. Each year a group of young people are given paid internship opportunities through this program. That’s right, no slave labor here folks, these kids are paid!
This year, Tim spent six weeks with three young men who proved why programs like these are so incredibly necessary. Although one of the young men would be heading off to college at the end of the six weeks, these kids, aged 18-22 came to him with very little skill in interviewing and even less general workplace knowledge.
Timothy set the tone with his office rules on day one- NO sagging pants, if you didn’t bring it/buy it, it’s not yours and you need to ask and you will be expected to follow directions and to actually work while you are here.
Honestly, it makes me uncomfortable that kids in the 18-22 age range have not already been given some direction on how to interview for a job or how to behave in a professional manner.
We hear about kids being lazy and not wanting to do anything productive ALL the time. In this case, it was the exact opposite.
They wanted to learn and were willing to work. Which is great, but that also makes the lack of opportunities even more of a shame. How will young people ever learn life/work skills if they are never given a chance to do so?
This is why programs like this are so necessary and important. There are literally thousands of children everywhere who are not being prepared for work or life in general at all. Without these skills they have no choice but to become a society of underpaid underemployed workers with limited opportunity at even achieving that.
Mentoring is not an easy task. It takes time, dedication, work and patience. But it’s still a worthwhile rewarding experience.
I could tell you about the challenges Tim had in keeping them in line. I could tell you how he struggled to keep them motivated at times and how there were moments when it probably felt like having a second job while already at work!
But, I’d rather tell you about how grateful the kids were that he was strict with them and how they thanked him for being willing to mentor them and give them real life/work experience that they can use in the future.
And, I’d rather tell you about how he smiled when he talked about them.
When I asked Tim why he agreed to do it, he said it was because young people need help and since he was able to help them, why not. And that’s what makes Tim awesome!
You can be awesome too! Find a program where you can mentor a child and be awesome like Tim!
I did a search online and found a list of mentoring programs that appear to be worth checking out. If you decide to try one, let me know how it turns out!
Mercy Home For Boys And Girls http://www.mercyhome.org/mentoring
The Steve Harvey Mentoring Program For Young Men http://steveharveymentoring.com/chicago/
Big Brothers Big Sister of Metropolitan Chicago http://www.bbbschgo.org/site/c.bkLUKcOVLkK2E/b.6384659/k.F0BF/Home_Page.htm
Chicago LAMP http://www.chicagolamp.org/
Tutor/Mentor Connection http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net/Prgloc.aspx
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