Mentor vs. Tutor: Battle of Both Worlds

By Andres Aznar

In a world like ours – mostly free and full of possibilities – exists a threat. It affects virtually all of the world's population. It's called: "The Decision." Decisions are made in seconds. In fact, without decisions, our lives would be meaningless. Naturally, we strive to make the right decisions in our short lives. However, every decision we make has its own consequences, good and bad. The decisions we choose to make in life can bring many rewards, like success in life or the creation of a better future for our children and their children. Good decision-making can also foster a life with fewer struggles and better opportunities.  Image courtesy texasgearup.com

Some possess an enhanced ability to make decisions which allow positive consequences. They weren't born with that ability. They just had very good guidance when they were children and while they were growing up. As such, those men and women are geared for success. Much comes easy to them. They're the ones you remember from high school. The ones that you envied because they were always receiving perfect scores with seeming ease.

On the other hand, for some people, their life is a struggle: a struggle to make ends meet; a struggle to be the best that they can be. They try and try but always get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. While this is a challenging situation to be engulfed in, it illustrates a very telling contrast. By asking themselves, "Why is it so easy for those other people to succeed, but not me?” The answer – and their shortcomings – is evident: Guidance.

Have you ever asked for help? If the answer is "no" then you should have no trouble in life and never have any problems, as you are not a real person. Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, you could use some guidance so you can succeed in life and obtain the opportunities to enjoy the rewards that some people just happen to receive so easily? There's a solution to every problem and now is the time to solve it. In this world, there are people who have never had any guidance, when they were young or old. The end result of not having that guidance, unfortunately, is pain, suffering, monetary loss, and even the removal of their right of freedom. When someone goes through something like that, like imprisonment, or losing a job or a home, their loved ones are the ones affected by it. They feel more pain than the person causing the pain in the first place.

If you find yourself to be one of those who have suffered from a lack of guidance, I encourage you to learn about success: how to obtain it and how to prevent going or returning to prison. Mentors and tutors are individuals who can guide you to your successes in life and help you meet the goals that you've always wanted to.

People who are struggling need a mentor to assist them in navigating life's tributaries. A mentor can be found almost anywhere you go, inside or outside of prison. That's right, mentors exist even in prison. They are the ones that we consider the smart guy, the one doing positive things and going places. Engaging with a mentor is a two-way relationship which is mutually beneficial. On the one hand, you associate, hang out with, and even eat with him; after all, he's a friend and a trusted advisor. As such, he'll proffer great advice which is beneficial to your future. If there's a decision you need to make, but you think it's going to cause problems, just ask your mentor. He'll assist you with choosing the path which will get you to where you desire to go. On the other hand, by providing reliable counsel and seeing you grow, your mentor will grow, too.

On a personal note, I didn't have the life I wanted. I'm a federal prisoner and all I wanted to do is fix what I did wrong and move on. But, I found that poor decision-making was hindering me in my desired path. So, what did I do? I looked for and found a mentor. All of his successes rubbed off on me. Now my life is easier and much more beneficial. I say this because I believe this. As such, I believe that this will work for you, too. After all, my personal experience has shown this to be true.

Tutors are teachers, personal one-on-one educators. They can be found in any Education Department in any prison. Most schools outside of prison have tutors, too. They are the ones that have a subject down to a science. If you're having trouble in a specific subject, like math, reading, or writing, they'll sit down with you and guide you until you pass your final. They're mostly there for educational purposes, usually no more than that. The potential rewards are amazing when you have the guidance of a well-educated tutor. GED classes, high school classes, vocational classes, and even college classes will all become that much more accessible to those with a dedicated tutor nearby. Use them.  That is what they're for. They can help you realize your true potential.

Now, did you know that there's such a thing as a mentor and a tutor rolled up into one person? Yes, there is. Just imagine a good friend knowing almost everything about any subject and helping you with it. That's a touchdown: the best of both worlds.

As one of the staff currently employed in the FCI-Petersburg Education Department notes, "A mentor is someone who shows the right example. Every day I pass by my classroom and I see who needs and who doesn't need a mentor. Some of my students need a good 'boot in the rear' to get them going in the right direction. Tutors are the ones that are taking over the Education Department. Without them, I would be swamped, and I thank them for that. Tutors are the ones that will get you where you need to go academically, and mentors are the ones that will get you where you need to go in life."

The same staff member states, "Life is more than math, writing, social studies, and science. When you get out of prison, where do you want to be? Make the right decisions in life. Grow and enjoy life." A mentor – especially one who is versed in academic areas – can make this dream a reality.

Look around and find the person that will help you get where you need to go. It's not wrong to ask for help. The key to success is education. A solid preparation is required to obtain a successful business. Why not identify your weaknesses, fix and strengthen them, and pass on the torch? I would love to see the prison population decrease. Recidivism is a bane to society, like a virus plaguing the lives of many Americans. Education is the antidote to that virus.