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Mentorship Matters: Success Stories from Youth Workforce Training Program

Having a mentor is an invaluable asset in any aspect of life. Whether that be a workforce training program or a hobby, someone who is more experienced will undoubtedly be able to help one become better. Through having a mentor, kids will learn how to apply skills and learn new techniques. For example, when The Coop Concept created garden beds and picnic tables for Chambers Elementary School, a man named Rob used AR to envision what they would look like. Aurora says, "AR, meaning augmented reality, is something the staff of the COOP Concept was able to experience with Rob. AR morphs the real world with the virtual world by adding virtual pictures or characters, or both, through a phone’s camera or video viewer." Rob teaching the kids about AR is useful to them, as it demonstrates to the kids that technology can be used to further their goal.

Mentors are able to expand their mentees' knowledge and help them think outside of the box. A good mentor allows the mentee to feel as if though they have arrived at the solution themselves. Both the mentee and the mentor should have grown as a result of the relationship. Mentors provide valuable insights and guidance, alongside mentees who are still learning the ropes, so to speak.

There are multiple guidance styles of mentoring. Just like teaching, one has to learn how others interpret and understand information. Like with Rob, he had to simplify what AR technology is for the kids so that they could understand it. There are various ways of teaching that can appeal to specific kids. Being a mentor is no easy task, and it is an admirable skill to learn.

Being a mentor is all about how one learns to teach. The study of teaching is called pedagogy, and it applies to nearly every facet of life. Connection is another large aspect of mentoring. If the mentor is cold and impersonal with the mentee, then the mentee will not feel motivated to work or to

put in the effort. One has to strike a balance between authentic, authoritative, and approachable. It is a delicate tightrope that the mentor walks, and that is why it's so rewarding. It allows one to see someone else flourish in whatever direction their life takes them.

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