When I think of Peer Mentoring, I think of the countless benefits it provides for not only youth, but many involved in a community. The Sacramento Youth Center really warms my heart because for a while I never knew my place in my community. When I joined the Sacramento Youth Center’s Peer Mentoring program, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into being that I’ve never really been educated in peer mentoring or mentoring in general. When I started the program, I had the privilege to work and build among many different people, from different ethnicities, races, and religious backgrounds. This opportunity gave me a broader outlook on what it is truly like in my neighborhood and how much potential there was around me.
Through my time in Peer mentoring, I did not only learn lots about mental health, but a lot about myself. I gained an understanding of the different topics on mental health. I learned that sometimes all a person needs is a listening ear. Someone who will listen and let the person talking just communicate and speak about their feelings. Usually when someone needs your “help” they just need someone to listen to them, not give them advice or a lecture but to observe and let them speak.
I took this lesson with me in my life because I never truly realized how curtail the aspect of listening to someone is until the peer mentoring process. This made me take a closer look at the people closest to me who are going through issues and need someone to listen and not just talk. Another one of the things that I learned in the peer mentoring program that I thought was very interesting was the many impacts that mental health and the many qualities that go into it. When it comes to mental health, I learned that the basic needs of a person are a necessity, because if a person’s basic needs are not met then their ability to flourish and grow cannot be met. Some examples of common basic needs are a roof over someone’s head, food for them to eat, and or even clothes for them to wear. If these basic needs are not being met, it can be very difficult for someone’s mental health to be where it needs to be. I enjoyed my experience and time at the Sacramento Youth center and the Peer Mentoring program because it allowed me to educate myself and be an outlet within my community to potentially make it better.
I will take all the experiences and lessons taught in this program with me for the rest of my life. I am glad for the new friends and peers that I have had the honor to meet and work alongside. They have made me better and really opened my eyes to the many different perspectives and outlooks on any situation. For any youth who wish to be a part of a program where they have an outlet and leadership opportunities in their community, I highly encourage you to go out and seek programs like Sacramento Youth Center. I encourage you to seek out programs for any purpose or topic that you are passionate about. Thank you, Sacramento Youth Center, for being a source where youth and many people apart of my community can go and just be themselves. Don’t be afraid to be different and seek what is lacking in your community. It starts with you!
“It starts with you!”