From Mentee to Mentor: Giving Back Through Mentorship

Big Brother Marcus became a mentor because his own life has been transformed by the power of mentorship. Marcus’s mentor provided him with direction in his values and career path, and instilled in him a desire to always give back.

The Impact of a Mentor

Many people who experience the positive impact of a mentor look to pay it forward later in life. Marcus is grateful to have been connected with his mentor Anthony when he was young. Anthony served as a father figure to him, teaching him about faith, how to treat others, and their shared Black heritage. His mentor also played a big role in Marcus’s decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville.

During college, Marcus volunteered his time as a tutor for younger kids. He didn’t think much of it at the time—just a weekly session to help young people with literacy – but one day, one of his student’s parents made a point to tell him what an impact he was having on her son. Marcus had no idea how positive his presence was for this young person, and from there he realized how great it feels to be on the other side of a mentoring relationship.

Personal Growth for the Big and Little

It is clearly the goal that a mentee will show personal growth and development throughout a mentoring relationship, but that is often the outcome for the mentor, too. After being matched with his Little Brother, Caden, it prompted Marcus to assess his own time management skills and how well he is communicating with friends, family and colleagues in his daily life.

As he started getting to know Caden better, Marcus learned to be more present, understanding and inquisitive about his Little’s interests, which in turn helped him approach other relationships in his life with more intentionality.

The Gift of Telling Your Story

We all look for a glimpse of ourselves in stories. Joan Didion famously wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” For Marcus, mentorship is a meaningful chance to tell his story in hopes that it will help someone else on their journey.

"We all have our own stories and backgrounds, but until you can tell your story and connect with somebody, you never know how much of an impact your story will have, and it’s definitely going to pay you back a hundredfold."

Interested in becoming a mentor to a young person? Fill out the volunteer inquiry form to get started.