Did you miss Long Live Mentoring 2014? That's okay! As we gear up to launch #LongLiveMentoring 2015, we want you to meet some of the great folks who are part of the Long Live Mentoring crew. In this series, you'll get an insider's view to the experiences and insights from last year’s conference. Long Live Mentoring 2014 was a wonderful three-day event in Oklahoma City full of inspiration, increased relationship and practical mentoring resources.
This week we feature Paul Hemminger, who drove from Columbus, Ohio to attend Long Live Mentoring 2014. Bruce Doane* connected with Paul to get the nitty gritty on Paul's connection to his community and his plans for the future.
:: Paul's Community ::
Paul lives in Columbus, Ohio and works as a substitute teacher and also serves as a community mentor. His mentoring program matches mentors to teach skills like effective communication, conflict resolution and job readiness to help individuals prevent future obstacles to success. Both his teaching job and mentoring experiences have affected Paul’s outlook on the role of a mentor.
When I asked Paul what inspired him to become a mentor, Paul said his involvement was born out of reading and hearing about the need. Over time, he has mentally moved away from waiting to hold a position of status in the community to affect change. Instead, he now recognizes the profound impact that can be made right now "on the ground" and without a fancy title. Paul mentioned “ignoring the pedestal” - desiring to create relational change as a city mayor or a social entrepreneur with a large platform - to now realizing the heavy influence and power that comes from one on one relationship.
Paul has built a special friendship with one of his mentees, and he believes it’s the honest and vulnerable exchange between the two of them that continues to increase their trust and growth. As Paul gets older, he believes it’s natural for people to want to pass on their experiences and wisdom to other people. Whether as a child you had a mentor or had a lack of adult involvement - both of those experiences push a person to walk with someone else through their struggles and celebrations.
:: Paul's Experience at Long Live Mentoring 2014 ::
Paul dove into the materials and relationships offered at Long Live Mentoring 2014 and his excitement shows in his reflection about last year’s event:
"Long Live Mentoring to me is a launching pad to tackle your city. Mentoring itself is so active and missional. In the process, I’m constantly coming face to face with frustration and celebration. It’s ever changing. So for that reason, it’s really awesome to think of the conference as a coming together to see and interact with your colleagues that really care, and then going forth and coming back and going forth again in this repetitive cycle of local community and national inspiration. It feels like Long Live Mentoring is a really tight knit group of people who are creating worthwhile stories to be told everyday. There is this humility that comes with being a mentor. It’s not glorious most of the time. But you gain all these small stories of prodding and wooing that lead to success and growth, and you know that in each person around you there are similar stories."
Paul walked away from Long Live Mentoring energized from meaningful conversation and motivational stories. Tangibly, he walked away with The Mentoring Project’s updated Mentor Toolkit. Strategies learned from the Mentor Toolkit have given Paul the skills to lead a training for mentors in Ohio. Additionally, Paul is currently building a program for mentors to intentionally position themselves within the school system he substitutes for.
One of the tools he will be using for both of those experiences is The Mentoring Project’s new Mentor Field Guide. Of the Mentor Field Guide, Paul mentioned the benefit for mentors to have those benchmark steps of SHOW UP, LIVE OUT and SPEAK IN. He appreciates how the Mentor Field Guide has given words to mentors for what they are trying to do.
Paul acknowledged the “quiet heroes” label for mentors as life giving, and he understands the idea that mentoring programs are most successful when people work together.
One of the last questions I asked Paul was who he would recommend show up at Long Live Mentoring 2015. Paul said he would send people who have energy and ideas. Those who value generational and racial diversity. He went on to explain there is a certain vitality to those in the police force, foster parents, teachers, Social Services workers and criminal justice employees.
“A lot of people in the mentoring world are nurturers as well as entrepreneurial, and it seems like it’s good to have a mix of both. All these people really care about their network and the people around them in their city – they want to know what’s going on relationally that makes the world better and how they can contribute.”
And working together is what we love to do! Long Live Mentoring is an experience and conversation applicable to teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors, bosses, mayors, business executives, parents and hopefully, YOU. We’re just as inspired by the Long Live Mentoring community as Paul, and we have our fingers crossed that others like Paul will join us for Long Live Mentoring 2015 September 23-25 in Asheville, NC. This gathering allows you to connect, celebrate, learn and be re-launched into your community ready to change the world.
Will you join us? REGISTER NOW with the soon-to-end early bird prices!
*Bruce Doane serves as Mentor Care Director for The Mentoring Project, engaging relationally with prospective and active mentors and Mentor Link organizations. After graduating from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2008, Bruce traveled the United States for two and a half years before planting roots back in Oklahoma City. It was this experience in diverse communities that made him a believer in experiential learning as the best form of education. In his spare time, Bruce enjoys cycling, hiking, campfires and most anything outdoors.