I was catching up on our program partner NFTE’s blog this morning on mentoring and it reminded me that YEScarolina needed to recognize a special mentor to one of our outstanding students, Jerome Smalls. Jerome’s mentor and neighbor, Carol Onorato, has always gone above and beyond to inspire him and be involved in his life. Just recently, when props and tools where needed to complete a photo shoot for Charleston Magazine, Carol didn’t think twice about opening her home and allowing it to be photographed. Carol will be there to see Jerome graduate middle school and she will be anxious to hear the details of his trip to the Ernst & Young Gala. She is there to listen, give advice, lending a helping hand, encourage, support and inspire. A retired teacher (who notably once taught Darius Rucker), she never stops giving.
Mentors are so important, both for business owners and especially for our youth. Mentors give them an example to look up to and they are the proof that hard work and determination can pay off. You’ve heard the expression, “It takes a village,” well often times, mentors can provide guidance in ways parents or teachers cannot. You’d be surprised how far a little time and attention goes with kids. Get involved and become a mentor!