Thoughts, Ideas, and Concepts by Sandra Parks

Posts tagged ‘Youth’

10 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Mentor

How can a mentor improve your business and career advancement? Many ways: A mentor can guide you, take you under his wing and teach you new skills. Research has shown that mentoring relationships succeed and are satisfying for both parties when both the mentor and the person being mentored take an active role in developing the relationship.

Here are 10 tips you can implement to ensure you get what you need out of the relationship.

  1. Be clear on why you want a mentor and why you are meeting.
    Define what type of help you’re looking for in a mentor. Are you looking for someone with similar skills or someone with a very different skill set who can coach you? Are you looking for someone who has gone up the corporate ladder and can advise you on the ins and outs of corporate politics?
  2. Establish goals for the relationship.
    Discuss and agree upon the goals of the relationship and what you, personally, are doing to make it a successful venture. Review these goals from time to time to be sure the relationship is working; if not, adjust and refocus.
  3. Network, network and network to find a suitable mentor.
    Once you decide on the type of mentor you need, participate in functions and professional associations where you might find this type of person. For example, scour your chamber of commerce events, alumni and professional associations or even your owncompany. If you do choose someone from your own firm, it’s best to select someone other than your direct supervisor.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to one mentor.
    You can establish multiple mentoring relationships with individuals who can help you grow in different aspects of your life. Think of it as building your own personal board of directors. Also, don’t underestimate the value of a ‘peer mentor’ or someone at your level who has complimentary skills and experiences — even if you think you’re on the same level, you can learn a lot from their previous experiences.
  5. Establish communication methods and frequency of contact from the beginning.
    Talk with your mentor to determine the lines of communication that will work for both of you. Will you meet face to face or communicate mainly through e-mail and the telephone? Make sure you meet/talk enough to suit both of you.
  6. Manage expectations and build trust.
    Mentoring takes time and implies sacrifices for both the person being mentored and the mentor. Be respectful of your mentor’s time and the other priorities in her life, such as family, travel and community activities. Avoid any trust-breaking behaviors such as canceling appointments or not following through on leads and contacts given to you by your mentor.
  7. Acquire mentoring skills and competencies.
    Pay attention to great skills that you notice in your mentors; these skills include listening, guidance, recommendations and wisdom. When you receive corrective feedback from your mentor, don’t be defensive. Listen, digest and take immediate steps to apply what you have learned.
  8. Be respectful of your mentor’s time.
    Do not overburden him by demanding too much time or too many contacts. Understand that the moment you decide you need information might not be the best time for him, so be patient.
  9. Express your gratitude.
    Your mentor is likely to give a lot more than you do in the relationship in terms of time and contacts. Be sure to express regularly that you value and appreciate your mentor’s guidance.
  10. Vary the activities you do together.
    There are numerous activities you can do with your mentor, such as talking about your past experiences, goals, plans, and skill development and attending meetings, conferences, and other events. You can also shadow your mentor at work or exchange and discuss written materials like your resume or an article one of you has written.
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Today I Cried

Today I cried.  It felt so good.  I needed that.  I had been holding so much in the inside trying to be so strong for everyone else.  But today I broke down.  So many emotions and feelings.  Some were of anger, pain, hurt, feelings of betrayal, loneliness, happiness, thankfulness to mention a few.  I can’t really tell you everything that I was feeling.  But I know I was able to vent to Soror Nedra.  My oh my you talking about  “we help each other for we know there’s no other like our sisterhood” that is what sisters are for.  I so appreciate her for just lending me her ear for a few minutes.  Sometimes thats all it takes is a few minutes.

Then my cousin Nikki texted me and I was able to really just tell it all to her since she knows everything.  And it was as if I was in the counselors chair.  I just poured it all out.  And then came the tears.  I tried to hold my head up and not make a sound because I didn’t want my boys to hear me.  But it just came out.  I had no control.  I don’t know if you have ever been in the spirit and tried to come out and you couldn’t.  Well that is what happen to me today.  I so needed that.  Because I’ve not been to therapy in almost a year now. 

Sometimes keeping yourself busy to not focus on your problems doesn’t work.  And I know for me I have to be strong for so many that I have to put myself off often times.  But how many of us know that you MUST take care of yourself before you can take care of others.  Thus the reason why the flight attendants tell you to put your mask on before you help your child or anyone else.

I don’t celebrate holidays.  However Thanksgiving is just one of those days that I think you are just supposed to be surrounded by loves ones.  It’s such an emotional day for me.  And this morning something so strong came over me.  It was so overwhelming.  But again I thank the Lord on today for just placing someone in my life that allowed me to vent. 

I don’t know about you but my battles start in my mind.  That is where the devil tries to get the best of me.  But how many of you know that he is defeated on today?  He doesn’t have the victory over my mind nor my body nor my soul.  But Jesus made a way of escape for me today just as he promised.  You know I love me some Jesus.  I really do.  I can’t tell you all that he’s done for me because I would be writing for days.  But when I tell you that he is a healer, that he is a friend, that he is a life line, that he is a keeper, that he is long-suffering, that he is patient, but also he chastises me as well.  And I appreciate him for that alone.  I thank him for getting on to me when I’m out of line.  I thank him that I have an ear to hear when he is getting on to me.

You know I have so much to be thankful for on today.  Not because its Thanksgiving but because when I didn’t want to live any more he told me that “THIS IS NOT UNTIL MY DEATH” when I wanted to just give up he wouldn’t allow me and because of that I’ve seen one child off to the US Army, I have one graduating next year and I’m raising my last one with love and patience as well.  I’m so glad that I’m still around to talk to them and tell that I love them and that I’m here for them.  I’m just so grateful on today.  Not only has he allowed me to raise my children; he has allowed me to be a positive force in so many youth today.  And for that I’m grateful as well.  My soul rejoices in him tonight.  I’m happy in Jesus tonight.  He has truly been a wonder in my soul!!!

Venting Via my Blog

My heart is so heavy right now!  I guess I should have never gone on that youtube site to look at the teenager being beat in Chicago.  Initially I had just heard of it and was reading the media outlets.  But after watching it you have to be dead not to feel something.  I just don’t know what to say or do.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love the kids.  I love working with them and encouraging them.  One day while in Atlanta on my way to my sister house we saw three little girls and three little boys going into the bushes at around midnight.  I spoke in a loud voice asking LaVerne to stop so that I could tell the little girls not to go into the woods this time of night with those little boys.  I knew they were up to no good.  But she said no.  She said that she wasn’t getting involved.  I believe that this was in June.  Just recently last week I had a dream that those girls were found dead.

One day I was in the Mall with Reggie and we saw this little boy with is his pants sagging.  I asked Reggie to say something to the little boy and he said no.  So I was going to say something to him instead and Reggie pulled me away and said Sandra come one and leave people alone.

I have a mentee that is a teenage mom (and so was I) that I work with.  One day she told me about her baby daddy hitting on her and I was driving around South Dallas trying to find this kid to speak to him.

These are just a few of the situations I’m sharing with you all now.  But there are so many more.  Its a sad day when the adults are afraid to chastise the youth today because of fear of them hurting us.  I remember when I was coming up my elementary teacher Ms. Hill would pull my ears because I had a big mouth and was always running it.  My oh my when I saw her heading towards my desk I knew I was in for that ear to be pulled red.  My granny didn’t say a word because she knew Ms. Hill was making sure that I got my lesson.  We have moved away from this as a nation.  No one wants the teachers to discipline the children although they are at the school 8 hours a day.  Then when they get home we so tired or so occupied on facebook and other things that we don’t pay them any attention either.  So  you have these kids with hours of no chastisement, no structure, no discipline, but yet we expect them to be the next President Obama.  Probably not gone happen.  Even the bible says that Jesus Chastised those that he loved.

It’s in my heart to help young people.  They have so many options today.   Do you know that all children of all backgrounds and socio-economic status can attend Harvard??  When I was a child Harvard was not even in my vocabulary.  But look at our children today.  The sky is the limit.  Often times they don’t even know this. That is why the shoot for some dreams.  That is way they take the easy way out.   So someone must tell them.  How come we don’t have more lawyers, doctors, Accountant, Engineers, CEOs, CFOs, COOs?  Because we are not showing them how to get into these fields.  But we shower them with the latest video games, the latest clothes, we allow them to have all those stupid hair cuts, color in your hair.  People we must tighten our shot groups and take our kids back!!!  It’s too simple!!!

I believe that our youth are hurting for many reasons.  You have some that are from single parent homes, some have been molested by family members that they looked up too, some are intimidated by other kids being placed higher then them, some are jealous over material things, some have learning disabilities that we are overlooking, some are missing their fathers, some have drug habits, some were carried by parents that were doing drugs while they were in the womb.  So many other factors come into play.  Our  babies need help.  Some are adults now that never got the help that they needed.

The system is going to put them in jail, what will that solve?  Some are going to get the death penalty, what will that solve?  Some we will let just wither away, what will that solve?  I don’t know what to do and I don’t know all the answers.  All my life I’ve been a lover of numbers.  But I’m human and I hurt when I see my young people going through.  I don’t care what color they are.  I’m a soldier and I’m green.  I’ve lived all over the world and I love people.  I love children.  I’m telling you that they need love.  And more love and then some more love!!!  But they also need discipline, they need structure, we can’t be their friends.  That is clearly not working.

What are we going to do?  I don’t know so if someone wants to help me please let me know.  I can start by offering them The Sandra Parks School of Etiquette.  You can find us on line at http://www.sandraparksschoolofetiquette.com or call 972.838.0106

Message to our young brothers in Chicago by Nas

I’m from Chicago and what is happening up there is really disturbing for I still have nieces and nephews that walk those streets.  Lets be in constant prayer for our youth all over.  Read this below and please leave comments:

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong wars!   Killing each other is definitely played out. Being hurt from the lost of a love one was never cool.

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong war! I know that feeling, that frustration with life and needing to take it out on someone, any one. But….

We chose the dumbest things to go the hardest for.  I remember seeing deaths over 8 ball jackets, Fila sneakers, and name plate chains. Deaths over “he say, she say”!!!!! “I’m from this block or I’m from that block”, or “my moms n pops is f*cked up now the whole world gotta pay”!!!

I remember feeling like I was the hardest “n*gga” breathing.  And I couldn’t wait to prove it. But let’s think. What are we really proving?? And proving what to who?? Everybody knows Chicago breeds the strongest of the strong but I just feel, me, being ya brother from another state feels your pain as if I grew up with you in ya very own household.

You have the ability and mindpower to change they way we are looked at.  Look who’s watching us young warriors, look who’s throwing us in jail constantly, look at the ignorance in the world. Look at the racist dogs who love to see us down. Loving to bury us in the ground or in jail where we continue this worthless war on one another.

Young warriors…. We are WASTING more and more time. We gotta get on our jobs and take over the world. Cuz this movie left the theaters years ago, Juice, Menace, Boys n the Hood , Blood n Blood Out, Belly!

When we see each other why do we see hatred? Why were we born in a storm, born soldiers, WARRIORS….and instead of building each other up we are at war with each other.. May the soul of this young person find peace with the almighty. I’m with you young warriors. You’re me and I’m you. But trust me! you are fighting the wrong war.

This sh*t sucks !!

-Nas

Let it go my young brothers, let it go!!!

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