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This edition of Hood Health 101 encourages you to make a difference by participating in National Mentoring Month.



2015 is officially here and to kick it off on the right foot Hood Health 101 is celebrating National Mentoring Month.  So while you have made and are making your resolutions for this year, I implore you to find more ways to be impactful within your communities. Mentoring is impactful because it gives you the opportunity to continue the tradition of passing down much needed guidance, experience, and knowledge to others. It also assists in creating stronger knit communities and reinforces our care and protection over our youth.

Mentoring is easier than many of you may think that it is. The first thing that you have to get over the notion that you may not have a lot to offer. This idea beloveds, is simply untrue. Every lesson that you have learned through making good decisions and conversely making bad decisions gives you a platform to share with others. It’s not and has never been about being perfect but instead about sharing your life so that it may inspire and create change in others. Think of it this way, there may be that one kid, teenager, young adult, or even an adult who couldn’t relate to anyone else for real until you came along. Just by being present, caring and sharing can help to create change or be that spark that motivates someone to change.

What I’ve found about it is that there are some folks you can talk to until you’re blue in the face–they’re never going to get it and they’re never going to change. But every once in a while, you’ll run into someone who is eager to listen, eager to learn, and willing to try new things. Those are the people we need to reach. We have a responsibility as parents, older people, teachers, people in the neighborhood to recognize that – Tyler Perry

There are official avenues that you can join to become mentors, such and Big Brothers Big Sisters and others. You can also simply be inspired to go out into your community and help others without formal mentoring training. The choice is ultimately up to you. I will however, say that many of us remember that “old head” in the neighborhood that kept trying to kick knowledge and real life facts to us that we either ignored or listened to when we were younger. Be that “old head” yourself now! We live in a time and climate where our young need our guidance, protection, care, and knowledge. They are facing a cold world and a society that does not value life or freedom for everyone regardless of race and class as it should. Society’s moral compass is skewed and those of us who have the proper perspective, time, and dedication have to step out into the forefront now more than ever. It’s important to see positive images within our communities and neighborhoods. If you are a mentor please take photos with your mentee and post them on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #HoodHealth101Mentors and tag The Source on IG @TheSourceMag and Twitter @THESOURCE as well as myself on Twitter @NakeashaJ and IG @Melanated_Beauty. Let’s make those resolutions more communal this year and be dedicated not only to changing ourselves but also the communities around us. Peace

-Nakeasha Johnson

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