What Can Mentors Do to Influence Career Preparedness for Students? » NAAIA Foundation » Supporting African Americans in the Insurance Industry


What Can Mentors Do to Influence Career Preparedness for Students?

In the hyper-competitive world we live in today, any help we can get along our life journey is valuable. Aside from our parents, family, friends, and colleagues, mentors are some of the most important people we can be lucky enough to have in our lives. Here’s a quick look at what these special people do and why they are such powerful contributors to people’s success.

Let’s dive right in.

The Importance of Mentorship

A mentor should represent the aspirations you have for your future career, especially when you are still in your formative years. They don’t necessarily have to be in the exact line of work that you will pursue but will embody the qualities you need to achieve your goals, such as hard work, perseverance, initiative, communication and so on.

They can directly and indirectly help younger people figure out the trajectory they want in their lives and how to achieve their objectives.

According to the American Council of Educators, people who encounter effective mentors in their early years show much higher rates of higher education enrollment and professional success.

The Value of Representation

According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, Black students enjoy higher rates of high school graduation and increased college enrollment rates when they are taught by Black teachers in their formative years. The implication of these results is that students are much more likely to receive positive encouragement from the presence of authority figures of similar racial or ethnic backgrounds. 

The positive effect is deemed to be especially powerful in circumstances where minority communities have a history of oppression and underrepresentation, such as is the case in the United States of America.

The Shortage of Black Men in Mentorship Roles

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, black men account for only 4% of the nation’s teacher workforce. This percentage is shockingly low, considering that African Americans make up approximately 13% of the population. 

The direct result of this shortcoming is that the student bodies in American educational institutions face a chronic shortfall of suitable educators in mentorship roles for the benefit of Black students.

Final Thoughts

While there are various reasons we can consider when trying to explain the low rates of Black teachers in education, it’s more useful at this point in time to explore how we can rectify the situation. That’s where organizations such as the NAAIA Foundation come in. 

The NAAIA Foundation is designed to help the African-American populace through philanthropic partnerships with local community organizations. It’s hoped that such efforts can help stem the tide of African-American disenfranchisement and improve their career progression through innovative initiatives such as mentorship programs.

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