Many years ago after finishing my degree I asked one of my professors for some guidence with an piece of work I was doing. Without hesitation she said that she would be delighted as we need to develop more leaders in the youth sector. This short statement has meant a lot to me over the years but I never fully understood its importance until this year.
As a teacher of youth work students I can see the passion and future potential colliding every day I teach. The students of today will be the managers in a decade. The work we do now will pay dividends in a generation. Sadly though, it seems that there is little happening post the education of youth workers.
We who have been in the sector for a while need to mentor those coming through. Whether you are a coalface worker, a Manager or a CEO you need to support the next generation coming through. If we truly want to see audacious youth workers in an excellent sector then we need to impart our practice wisdom to those who are going to be the leaders of the future. Every organisation which employs youth workers should mentor them. Every professional association should develop a register of potential mentors. Most of all it should become part of our core responsibilities to the sector.
If one youth worker supports one other youth worker per year through their career then we will see a revolution. Imagine mentoring 30-50 other youth workers who in turn support another 30-50. We would have a highly supported and trained workforce for generations.
Our challenge to you:
If you have five years or more in the sector, find one person you could potentially mentor for the next 12 months.