What I Learned at the Youth Mentor Conference
By Juliette Perera
The 2022 Youth Mentor Conference presented by Shine From Within allowed youth mentors all over the world to connect. By coming together online I was able to learn from the experiences of the amazing speakers. As a new youth mentor, I felt incredibly welcomed into the online space and youth mentor community. It was so special to hear from the speakers sharing the meaningful ways they support youth within their communities. Each speaker was truly passionate about what they do and through listening to their experiences I was able to gain new insight on ways to mentor our youth.
Here are the top 10 things that I learnt as a new mentor from the Youth Mentor Conference:
1. The importance of boundaries
Boundaries are so important when working with young people. By being there to listen instead of trying to fix their problems they can be empowered.
2. Be authentic
Just as everyone is different so are youth mentors. It is important as a youth mentor to do what you do best and bring forward your most authentic self.
3. How to be a good LGBTQIA+ ally
There are many ways you can be an ally to support LGBTQIA+ youth. It is important to be visible as previous negative experiences can make them feel unsafe until shown otherwise.
- Listen and support
- Be visible by adding your pronouns and sharing LGBTQIA+ content online
- Take action (when safe) by using your voice and calling out discrimination
- Lead by example
- Immerse yourself in LGBTQIA+ stories
- Celebrate and make space for pride
4. Create a space that you wish you had as a young person
Reflect on your experiences as a young person and consider the spaces you wish you had access to.
5. The importance of trust
For a shift to occur there needs to be trust. At any point youth are thinking something, feeling something and something is happening in their bodies. By asking three questions (listed below) you can bring youth into the moment and generate trust.
- What are you thinking now?
- What are you feeling now?
- What’s your body sensation?
6. Be Body Positive
To be body positive and remove anti-fat bias we need to change our mindsets of health being something we must perform.
7. Reclaim individuality
We must be open to the unknown as openness allows us to see the beauty of the individual.
8. Support Aboriginal youth
Aboriginal youth experience cultural nuances you may not be aware of. By being aware of the differences you can be a better mentor for Aboriginal youth. Without awareness, Aboriginal youth may suffer consequences by being put in unsafe states physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and culturally.
9. You don’t need to have all the answers
It is okay if you don’t know the answer and to tell them you don’t know. The most important thing is to be present and show them that you are willing to listen.
10. Teens just want to be heard
Straight from teens themselves, the best way that they can feel supported is by having someone to talk to and to listen to.
Whether you want to grow your youth mentor business or just want to be an even better parent/teacher/aunty/friend to the teens around you, you won’t want to miss this conference! Grab the replay now to the 2022 Youth Mentor Conference presented by Shine From Within.
If you’d also like to become a youth mentor and be part of our Shine From Within community, as well as start your own youth mentor business in your part of the world, here are a few free things to get you started!
- You can take the free quiz, ‘Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Youth Mentor?’ and discover your youth mentor archetype here.
- You can listen to our podcast, The Youth Mentor Podcast here.
- You can download the free eBook, ‘How Working with Teens Changed Their Life and Business’ here.
- You can take the free masterclass, ‘Take Your Teen Programs Online’ here.
- You can watch the free masterclass, ‘How to support teens in 2021’ here.
And when you’re ready to go further and get the support you need to build or grow your youth-related business, come and join us in the Youth Mentor Training!
We also offer limited business coaching and consulting for more established businesses or folks who need a more personalised approach. Get in touch to enquire or request to book in a complimentary 15min call at firstname.lastname@example.org