It is a tough time in our country and there are many forces at play trying to divide us. In this era of social media, many young adults feel lonelier and less connected than ever before. If you truly want to be part of uniting this country, whatever your political affiliation, please consider finding a way to step out of your world and build relationships with young people who are trying to figure out how to be productive, contributing members of their communities. I believe mentoring relationships are important for all young adults, but especially for those who often feel marginalized by society. Bring them to your workplaces. Share your struggles. Listen to their stories and learn about their lives. It is through these relationships that you will truly see what works and doesn’t work in terms of social service policy. You will stop being as judgmental and begin to understand and empathize with the complexities that things like race, family culture, and the toxic stress of poverty can play on the pathway to success. Most importantly, you will begin to care about these kids and see them as the unique individuals they are. The kids I mentor and who are part of my program have become part of me. I can’t imagine life without them. It’s truly an honor to be part of their journeys. The upcoming presidential election is sure to be full of rhetoric and negativity. Instead of feeding into it, how about making an effort to tackle poverty in your own little corner of the world? Not just by giving money or wearing a red nose, but by giving of yourself. There are many ways to get involved. I will share them in future posts. It’s time we all Get Connected.