February Values in Action Challenge
Build Community: Mentorship

American Values Investments is sponsoring a Values in Action challenge. The goal is to help Americans exercise their values for a brighter America. By preserving our values we can preserve our future.

This quarter we are examining the importance of building community and why vital communities are important to our democracy and to our individual freedoms. The remaining three quarters will focus on the three key American values of caring, courage and integrity.

Our January challenge was to do an act of goodwill to build community in your neighborhood. This month, we will be challenging readers to invest in mentoring others.

Entire Series

Healthy individuals and families make healthy communities.

Healthy communities are ones in which individuals live responsible lives and achieve a measure of emotional stability. And it is one where stable and loving families raise children who grow into flourishing adults. But life brings various challenges and we need to glean from the wisdom and experience of others.

One of the casualties of the breakdown in community is the breakdown of cross-generational support. As families have settled far from one another, and the elderly are increasingly cared for in professional care centers, many do not have robust relationships with those who have gone before. This is not isolated to older or younger Americans. People at every stage of life need to learn from and be supported by those who are ahead of them in the journey.

Mentoring can help individuals and families to experience greater stability and relational success as they benefit from the collective wisdom in their communities.

How can we mentor those in our communities?

We often associate mentorship with achieving professional career goals. But, we also need mentors in our everyday lives. Perhaps another name for this would be a “coach.” A mentor, or coach, is someone more experienced in a certain area of life who comes alongside another offering tips, a listening ear, support and lessons learned. Mentors need not be older chronologically, just someone who has lived through a life stage or experience that another is still experiencing. The mentor does not need to be an expert, just someone who is willing to share their life experiences, even if it is just sharing mistakes to avoid.

Mentorship does not have to be intimidating.

The idea of mentorship may make some feel insecure or inadequate. Some may be overwhelmed at the perceived time and emotional commitment required. Well, mentoring does not have to be intimidating. Mentorship provides benefits to both the mentor and the mentee.

Following are some tips to help you move past your anxieties and start making the difference in the life of another as mentor.

Tips for Successful Mentoring Relationships

You don’t have to make it formal.

  • Don’t act like a teacher or parent; just be a friend. Share your heart, life, laughter and experiences.
  • Don’t be an expert, or try to have all the answers. Be a sounding board, source of ideas, and a voice of reason.
  • Be prepared to listen and learn from the person you are mentoring as well.
  • Offer assistance if and when needed. Watch a child; offer a ride; find resources; share information.
  • Don’t evaluate or grade others. Be humble in your own self estimation and gracious with the struggles of others.
  • Be generous in praise and encouragement.
  • Don’t compare or attempt to craft others into your likeness, but celebrate their uniqueness and beliefs.

Be Flexible

  • You can mentor with occasional text messages.
  • You can talk on the phone.
  • You can get together as little as once a quarter.


Find someone to mentor, encourage or coach.
We would love to hear from you about your experience so that we can share with others taking the challenge.

Start by asking yourself these questions.

  1. Is there someone is who struggling with life’s demands?
  2. Is there anyone who needs encouragement and a listening ear?
  3. Is there someone who is doing well but could still benefit from your experience and friendship?
  4. Do you know someone who has less experience in a particular life stage? They don’t necessarily have to be younger.
  5. Is there someone who has no one to invest in and support them?

We would love to hear how things go. Please share your results with us at info@americanvalues.com.

Take the 2020 Values in Action Challenge

As a patriotic American, are you up for the challenge? Will you be the change – and hope – agent that our nation needs? By putting your values in action in small ways, you can make a big difference. You will receive a monthly challenge in one of four areas: building community, caring, courage, and personal integrity.

Yes, I am Up for the Challenge! Start Now.

Investors Advancing America’s Founding Values

Tell a Friend
Spread the word! Invite your friends to join the challenge and put their Values in Action.


Join Our Mailing List

Get more insightful content about values in American business and economic analysis by joining our mailing list to receive monthly or semimonthly emails.