Mentor Tip: Goals

Send this message to the mentors only.

Subject: Mentoring tips on goals

You can help young people set and reach goals. Consider the following recommendations from successful people with disabilities:

  • If a goal can't be reached, help the child modify the goal in a way that makes it more attainable. (adult with a mobility impairment)
  • One of the main reasons people do not set high expectations is fear of failure. In my opinion, fear is more "disabling" than any other disability. To address this, adults can start by setting achievable goals that are not long-term. The more success is experienced, the higher or longer the adults should help the young person set the next goal. Build on each success and make each goal a little higher. Think of it as a metaphorical high jump. You cannot set the bar too high in the beginning or you just set yourself up for failure. (adult with hearing and mobility impairments)
  • The first is not to focus on the disability at all. I'm certain that being mainstreamed all of my life kept me in touch with what other minds, disabled and non-, knew. The second is almost Zen-like. Let the young person find the path they want to follow. Everyone has talents. When this occurs, do your utmost to make opportunities for success available. (college student with a mobility impairment)
  • Don't discourage them with your own doubts. Believe in them, and know that they can do it, even if it takes extra time. Don't try to do stuff for us that you know we should do for ourselves. (college student with a mobility impairment)
  • Don't stop young people from what they want to achieve, but support them and definitely be there with them. Help them along the way. When I water-skied and rock climbed, my husband was right there beside me....and just as concerned as everyone else, but he encouraged me. I think encouragement is key, and supporting young people is very important. (college student who had a stroke)