An inspiration thief-odd word choice to say the least, but for our mentor Carlos M, mentoring has been so much more than an interaction. It has made him, in his words, an “inspiration thief.”

It’s been a bit over five years now since I had the privilege to start working as a mentor back in early 2013. During this time I’ve had an amazing experience being inspired by young talents with many dreams, who work very hard and whose enthusiasm is so contagious that I’ve ended up taking so much more out of the experience than what I’ve put in.

The power that words and shared ideas have is huge. Since I was a kid I’ve been lucky to have kind, honest and intelligent people around me who shared a little of their time and wisdom with me. Some of the most important decisions I’ve made so far are the result of these conversations. It’s been thanks to these decisions that now I can be grateful for many blessings in my life. One of the reasons why I’ve been a mentor during this time is to try to give back, even if just a little bit.

As mentors, we are given the opportunity to talk frequently to highly-talented young students with so much potential. They’re finishing high school and are about to make important decisions about their future. By sharing my experience with them, providing guidance through this decision-making process which can be daunting, setting up SMART goals and helping them structure their action plans, it’s been really rewarding to see talent turn into a success that keeps multiplying.

Another reason why this has been a terrific experience for me is a bit more selfish: I get so much inspiration after every interaction with my mentees. Life is always an adventure full of challenges, which at times can be tiring, but seeing how hard these young talents are willing to work for their dreams, often against so many difficulties, has definitely been a fuel of inspiration for me.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. I can’t help to ask myself, then, what kind of life I want to make now which will make me smile when I’m older?