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  • Writer's pictureJoe Mario


The value of being a mentor

For the past 2 months, I've met with Kevin and Everitt each Sunday for 2-3 hours. They're great young men with strong aspirations and hearts of gold. On our first outing together, we rode jet skis and we had a blast. This lead to a beach day next week, where I inquired about something we could regularly do together. We had great conversation and our personalities seemed to click, but couldn't decide on the regular activity. Kevin and Everitt pitched the idea of a podcast, which I was skeptical about, but I saw their passion and was ready to dive in. We spent about 3 weeks discussing topics, logistics, introductions and general good podcast etiquette. Each week, they'd leave with a small amount of homework and the next week, I'd see their progress. Thus far, we've recorded 5 different podcasts with a variety of professionals and last week the guys interviewed the man who's making this all possible-Steve Heath.

Steve gave me an opportunity to help two teenagers that have grown up in the FabNewport community. He regularly checks in with me to pass along guidance and ensure things are running smooth. During our last phone call, he asked me "How has being a mentor impacted me?" I lead with an overly analytical response, waving around professionalism and growth in leadership. Steve politely dialed back the language with a follow up question, "Yeah, but how does it make you feel?" I responded with a simplistic answer of, "Honestly, not too much. I think it's just the right thing to do." I quickly realized the ease of spending time with Kevin and Everitt wasn't a chore or some heroic accomplishment. Our weekly podcasts, our short discussions in the car, the lessons I teach them and more so, the ones they teach me, really just make me feel right. It's a sense of community building, seeing hope in our rising generation and it's natural quality is just right.

As I elaborated to Steve on my answer, he expressed my simple emotion more eloquently and what I was actually feeling, "It makes you feel whole."

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