This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my mentor

Big Brother Santiago and Little Brother Andrew’s story made me think what I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Of course there’s nothing more important to me that my family’s health and wellness, I’m thankful for a nice roof, delicious food on the table and a job a love, but  I’m also very thankful for the mentors I had throughout my life who in big part have helped me to achieve my goals.

From those mentors no one has helped me and believed in me as much as Phyllis Schwartz, who I met 6 years ago.

Schwartz, my former boss at NBC, who throughout the years has given me plenty of advice, but one has stuck with me, although I have to admit it’s hard for me because I want things done right now and can’t wait, yes you guessed it, Patience!, “Be Patient, good things take time” It’s what my mentor has told me many times and it turns out to be true.

This is one of the best advices I’ve ever got and as a mentor my self I’ve shared it with my mentees. Isn’t it funny that as a mentor you are supposed to challenge your mentee by setting the stage for new ideas among other things, but actually I have been inspired by my mentees, like Lucia who I met at the United States Hispanic Leadership Conference in 2011 who wants to be journalist and wanted some advice. I started talking to her and I realized she didn’t need any advice, she just needed a little push.

Lucia was smart, outgoing and fearless and had all the information she needed so I asked her, “Why do you need a mentor?” and her answer surprised me, “Because it doesn’t matter how much you know, we all need an inspiration in our lives to succeed.”

Having a mentor has made me a stronger person, but being a mentor has made me a humble individual because when I think I know everything I need to know, a College student like Lucia makes me realized, life is a never-ending school, specially when everything  looks dark you need someone to guide you to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today Lucia is about to start her first mentorship, it wasn’t easy, but she followed my advice, “Never give up” and after 6 months of sending letters to TV Stations and newspapers she got a call about a month ago, I was so happy for her and the satisfaction for being able to pay it forward and help someone succeed like my mentor did for me is inexplicable.

That’s why I don’t get tired of talking about how great it’s the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization who  for more than 100 years have made a big impact on communities across the country by providing mentorship to children “Littles” who need a boost in self-esteem and encouragement to believe in themselves that only an adult can give.

Compared to children not in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, Littles are less likely to

  • Skip school
  • Use drugs
  • Begin drinking alcohol
  • Hit someone

Did you have a mentor or would you like to become a mentor? You don’t need special training or a degree to positively influence a child, you only need the willingness to do it.

For more information about volunteering as a ‘Big.’ visit or

I would also like to her from you, Has anyone impacted your life or have you helped mentor a young person? Join the Latina Mom TV talk!

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Disclosure: This is part of a supported campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

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