Special to Mustang News
From spiritual leaders to sports coaches and from teachers to big sisters, the Thank Your Mentor Day initiative encouraged people to thank the people who have made a difference in their lives Thursday.
“Whether they’re academic mentors, sports mentors or others, mentors are what makes us who we are,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County executive director Anna Boyd-Bucy said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization that provides children facing adversity with adult mentors in the community, encouraged their mentees to thank their mentors with a Facebook post, a nice note or a text message, Boyd-Buce said.
“Many of them are Cal Poly students,” Boyd-Buce said. “I think the single largest group of mentors we have are from Cal Poly.”
Thank Your Mentor Day is a part of a nationwide initiative making January “National Mentoring Month.” The Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership started the initiative in 2002 to emphasize the importance of young people having positive role models.
Mechanical engineering sophomore Mitchell Jackson found a mentor at Cal Poly his freshman year, when he joined SLO Cru and met then-business administration senior Jordan Mason.
“He started out as my Bible study leader, and has been a role model to me,” Jackson said. “Someone to look up to.”
Mason finished college this past spring, but graduation has not been able to break the bond between the mentor and his mentee, who still meet on a regular basis. Mason, in turn, has had a long-running mentor relationship with another SLO Cru member and former student. That relationship, too, has lasted beyond college.
“We still meet up once a week and talk about what my goals are,” Mason said. “He’s sort of my spiritual guide.”