Right place, right time for mentoring?

Originally posted on Wed, 04/03/2013

A few weeks ago I hosted an extern (a.k.a. intern) from Grinnell College. I’ve also taught sex ed to 8th graders at my church. These are both useful, meaningful, and fun activities for me and the students. However, are they the best use of my time? I ask this in the context of my right place, right time inquiry. The issue is this: all these students are already privileged enough to be in a position to be taught by me, either by going to an elite college or by entering a predominantly college-educated church community. Especially in this time of increasingly desperate income disparities, I could make a bigger difference in someone’s life if I reached out to a young person who doesn’t have a college educated family.

This is a big deviation from my original idea of writing software. But it feels more right, because it is more of a risk and a stretch for me. I’m not giving up on the idea of writing software. For one thing, I may be able to do both. For another, this may lead me to have a different perspective which would put me in a better position to recognize needed software. But most important, I’m still in the idea gathering portion of my project, and I may yet have different ideas.