Here's Naomi Brown with her essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
"I believe in the magic of mentoring.
In Greek Mythology, Odysseus recruited Mentor to provide intellectual development and boost the self esteem of his young son, Telemachus. Without Mentor's guidance and encouragement, Telemachus would have failed as son and heir to the estate.
Most know a mentor as a special teacher who shapes your life and shows you how to achieve your goal.
But what is this magic to which I refer?
I teach the Gifted and Talented Mentorship Program in Fort Bend I.S.D. My job is matching intellectually gifted high school students with professionals from public, private, government and non-profit sectors of the Houston community.
After the regular school day, students meet at their mentor's work place where extraordinary opportunities to delve deeply into their field of interest are provided.
People ask me: "How ever do you find mentors in the professional world for high school students?" I say: "It's magic."
When potential mentors meet bright, enthusiastic and articulate young people something is re-kindled and re-born. Perhaps it's seeing something in themselves when they were young; perhaps it's a value they hold dear. Perhaps they realize it's only through mentorship and sharing of self that authentic knowledge is perpetuated.
Mentorship is an environment where experience and curiosity are equal; time and space dissolve, knowledge transcends obstacles and opportunities created where teaching and learning are the natural consequences of meaningful collaboration.
Expertly-mentored young adults understand the intrinsic value of the relationship; they themselves become mentors and continue the legacy of helping the next generation of movers and shakers.
Like Odysseus, I believe in Mentor. I believe while we too are away we must seek and perpetuate mentoring opportunities for students. Or, perhaps become mentors ourselves.
I believe we can meet and creatively solve challenges our world faces through quality mentorship.
It is magic. This I believe."