Last year, when I was serving as the Relief Society secretary for my ward, we had a joint presidency meeting between Relief Society and Young Women. We discussed ideas for ways we could create stronger relationships between the adult sisters and the youth. One leader had the brilliant idea of using adult sisters as mentors to the young women as they work on their Personal Progress goals, similar to how the Scouting program uses adult counselors for the merit badge program (more on that below).
The Personal Progress program is designed around the eight Young Women values. To complete the program, a young woman must complete six experiences and one meaningful project for each value. After reviewing the program requirements, I identified the following areas where a young woman could benefit from an adult mentor:
We asked the Relief Society sisters to indicate which areas they would be willing to share with the young women either one-on-one or in a group. Then the young women were invited to contact the mentors as they worked on their goals.
I would also recommend asking the men in the ward to volunteer to mentor the young women. Young women can benefit from the experiences and perspectives of both the brethren and the sisters.
As I mention above, our idea came from the Scouting program. A couple of years ago, one of our Scout leaders sent an e-mail to ward members asking them to volunteer as merit badge counselors. I was pleased to see that there were several merit badges that I was qualified for!
Our fellow AMW, Julianne Hall Gray, outlines the process for becoming a merit badge counselor. In Julianne’s words, ” This could be a great way for the young men of the church to start seeing women as authorities/leaders who have skills and talents.”
Mentors provide our youth with an additional resource to help them achieve their goals. Sometimes the knowledge needed must come from someone other than the young person’s parents or leaders. What ideas have you seen for using mentors to teach and inspire our youth?