January was National Mentoring Month, a time to celebrate the good that comes from one person taking the time to invest in someone else. Mentoring takes many shapes; mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends, bosses, co-workers, teachers, coaches, etc. Every relationship you have is an opportunity for mentorship, and I am personally grateful to have had many such mentors over the course of my life.
Omaha is fortunate to have organizations in and around the community that exist for the sole purpose of supporting mentoring relationships between students and caring adults. One of these organizations is the TeamMates Mentoring Program. With the simple motto, “be there”, TeamMates has become responsible for over ten-thousand mentoring relationships in five states. Nine years ago, I was asked by a friend to become a TeamMates mentor and I agreed because it seemed like a way to honor all the informal mentors who had taught me so much. I wasn’t sure exactly what I could offer to an elementary student, but I decided to trust the motto, and at the very least for what it was worth, I could “be there.”
Nine years later, that mentoring relationship has evolved into a great friendship built on mutual trust and admiration. My mentee is a senior in high school and our conversations have grown from toys, video games, and movies to college scholarships, faith, entrepreneurship, and adulthood. We learn from each other, share ideas, and give each other meaningful advice on what we are experiencing in our lives. I have received great perspective from my mentee on parenting, work, and other challenges, and I can only hope that I have returned the favor occasionally.
From my time as a mentor, I now understand that “be there” has a very real and meaningful impact. It is not always having the right words to say, but the simple gesture of “being there” that lets someone know that you care.
I am both proud and grateful that Investors Realty supports mentoring in our community by encouraging employees to participate in the TeamMates Program and many other worthwhile mentoring programs throughout Omaha.
My hope is that if you have taken the time to read this, that you might consider the impact you can make on the life of another through mentoring.
Tim Langan, Chief Operating Officer