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How to become a great mentor

As judge of #PaternityCourt, I strive to teach men and women to respect each other in whatever their relationship may be.

Why you should become a mentor

Finding great mentors throughout your life is crucial, but equally important is paying it forward by providing support and advice to those in need. Be it at work, in your family or in the community at large, it’s important to pay it forward and be a mentor to someone.

More: How to find the perfect mentor right under your nose

We’ve all had colleagues who need a helping hand sometimes, whether it’s by offering career guidance, tips on balancing work and life or even just being a listening ear. We all are guilty of getting caught up in our own responsibilities at work, but no matter how busy you are, always keep your eyes open for someone who may need a little encouragement or help.

Whether it's in your neighborhood or someone at church, on a board or volunteering at a local charity with you, try to always lead by example and show younger women the importance of donating your time and skills to those in need. One cannot downplay the importance of being selfless and using your own positive attributes to aid others.

More: 5 inspirational black female entrepreneurs who have made a big impact

We all remember the angst of being a teenage girl, trying to figure out your place in the world while your hormones are raging. Put yourself back in those shoes for a moment and think about the positive reinforcement you relied on back then to make it through those difficult years. Remind a teenage girl that she’s smart, attractive and will survive this tumultuous time.

Almost as bad as those teenage years was that of being a college graduate — living on your own for the first time, looking for a job and learning how to be an adult in the very big sea of fish we call life. Again, think about what you went through in this period of your life and what support or advice you relied on or wish you had been offered! Provide an ear to listen and positive words to encourage these young adults on this new adventure!

One of the most important reasons I cofounded the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) was to help young women learn to live life limitlessly and connect them with other women who could serve as mentors to them. Witnessing so many of our academy graduates go on to live their dreams and become mentors to other young women makes me feel so proud

My own mentors showed me how to live a balanced, successful life, and my hope is that I can continue is to be a strong role model for the younger generations, sharing the type of empowerment and encouragement I was blessed to have growing up.

More: How I’m really balancing motherhood and my career

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