By Kate Williams
Kate was IEA’s Apprenticeship Program Coordinator. Prior to moving to the Los Angeles area, Kate worked as an educator for over five years in Washington, D.C.
What is mentoring?
The role of the Mentor is recognized in many parts of society as well as many cultures throughout time. One of the earliest known mentorships was from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. The Mentor in The Odyssey is described as a wise friend that helps to guide Telemachus in discovering his inheritance. According to Dr. Susan Miller and Dr. Anne Frederickson of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
Mentor did not guide Telemachus to discover the riches of plundered Troy, rather he guided the young man’s yearning for his father and heritage. Perhaps the same can be applied to mentorship, which guides us to understand the inheritance within us and our full potential in our chosen profession.
Mentors today are still guiding our youth, young professionals and protégés in the same manner. Without Mentors to guide us along the path of possibility, we wouldn’t know our true potential.
What does mentoring look like today?
True mentoring today is not just an activity; it develops a lasting relationship between the Mentor and Apprentice that can be a highly meaningful experience.