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Lightning Talk: 10 Reasons You Would Make a Great Youth Mentor

Lightning Talk: 10 Reasons You Would Make a Great Youth Mentor

I've been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters for eight years, and I'm passionate about convincing other adults that you, too, would make an awesome friend to a young person. Aimed at developers, this short presentation shows you why.

Lightning talk at DjangoCon US 2022

Lacey Williams Henschel

October 18, 2022
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  1. 10 reasons you would make a great youth mentor Lacey

    Williams Henschel DjangoCon US 2022 ! @laceynwilliams
  2. Big Sister to my Li.le "Alex," for the last 8

    years with Big Brothers Big Sisters @laceynwilliams
  3. We need more mentors. As Drew said in his opening

    remarks, volunteer par7cipa7on all over has declined over the course of the pandemic. And the pandemic has hit children especially hard in lots of ways that I'll let you Google. @laceynwilliams
  4. The benefits of mentoring for both kids and mentors is

    another thing I'll let you Google. But I talk to a lot of people about mentoring, and I hear one thing all the =me: some varia=on of why THEY can't be a youth mentor. But mentoring isn't paren=ng, it's not teaching, it's not counseling. It's just being a friend. In fact, kids and teens already have a lot in common with the coders in this room. @laceynwilliams
  5. 1. Kids appreciate the design process @laceynwilliams

  6. They don't just match you with the kid at the

    top of the list. The people in charge of most mentoring programs try to matcch adults and kids that will get along. So you and your match get to decide how you spend your ;me together. @laceynwilliams
  7. 2. Kids engage in risk analysis @laceynwilliams

  8. COVID made mentoring hard. I didn't see Alex in person

    for months, and then we were masked un>l we were both vaccinated. You and your match will work TOGETHER to decide how to spend your >me -- are you thrill seekers or no? Are you only spending >me outdoors, or can you go to the movies? @laceynwilliams
  9. 3. Kids take joy in discovery @laceynwilliams

  10. Kids like novelty. They want to learn about you, and

    they want you to learn about them. And they are respec;ul of spoilers when you get into one of their favorite shows. @laceynwilliams
  11. 4. Kids like new tech @laceynwilliams

  12. I didn't even know iOS 16 was out when Alex

    was bugging me to update. Wanna do something weird with a Raspberry Pi? I guarantee there is a kid out there who wants to help. @laceynwilliams
  13. 5. Kids understand project tradeoffs @laceynwilliams

  14. We have all had to make that -me/quality/cost tradeoff, and

    kids get that, too. Just like in any so<ware project, the key to a succcessful mentoring rela-onship is communica-on. @laceynwilliams
  15. 6. Kids ask for help and appreciate it @laceynwilliams

  16. This is literally one of my favorite moments as a

    mentor. Alex is doing a workstudy through her high school at a local architeture firm and for a 15-year-oild in complex design mee?ngs, this is a lot! Mentoring a young adult through their first big-person job is just... awesome. @laceynwilliams
  17. 7. Kids are great teammates @laceynwilliams

  18. When you BECOME a friend, you GET a friend. My

    sister Alex is truly a great friend to me. She's caring and generous and a lovely person. @laceynwilliams
  19. 8. Kids like refactoring @laceynwilliams

  20. Alex loves to bake, and she is not shy with

    her feedback on our crea8ons! She and I together improve at the skills we do together. @laceynwilliams
  21. 9. Kids test ...you. @laceynwilliams

  22. She's wrong. This is a ba1le we've fought for eight

    years. @laceynwilliams
  23. 10. Kids celebrate @laceynwilliams

  24. Just like you love to ccelebrate your first deployment, or

    new job, or whatever, young people want to acknowledge those too! @laceynwilliams
  25. Come chat with me! @laceynwilliams