‘Tis the season of giving back and serving our community. Traditionally, this time of year prompts discussions about supporting charities and local organizations, and extending a helping hand to those in need. While these acts of generosity are vital and impactful, I would like to propose a method of giving back that is a gift of lasting impact: mentorship.

At the Salt Lake Chamber, we recognize the invaluable role mentorship plays in building stronger, more resilient communities. It’s not only about passing on expertise; it’s about investing in the future. Mentorship enables us to nurture new talent, inspire innovation and create pathways for future leaders.

This holiday season, I encourage you to consider mentorship as a means of giving back. Your experiences as a seasoned professional, business owner or even an aspiring entrepreneur can profoundly impact someone else’s life. Take the opportunity to mentor a student, offer guidance to a young professional or support mentorship initiatives in your community. There are several opportunities and programs where you can get involved in mentorship, whether you are the mentor or the mentee:

Business Women’s Forum: The Business Women’s Forum, a program of the Salt Lake Chamber, helps local business women develop professionally and personally, and provides networking opportunities through a series of bi-monthly luncheons and mixers. Past topics have included mentorship, communication, leadership and career development.

BYU Connect: BYU Connect is Brigham Young University’s networking and mentoring program that provides students access to qualified alumni. Those that serve as mentors help students expand their networks and assist in their career development before graduation.

Utah Valley University’s Small Business Development Center: The SBDC offers a 6-month Mentor Program, which provides business owners the opportunity to work with experienced mentors to help their business grow and improve.

University of Utah’s Opportunity Scholars: The David Eccles School of Business offers the annual Opportunity Scholars Mentorship Program, which partners industry leaders with students. Ultimately, mentors use their expertise and experience to help students navigate the business world and develop essential skills.

Let’s embrace the spirit of giving by investing our time, knowledge and guidance in shaping a brighter future for our communities. Together, through mentorship, we can make a difference that lasts far beyond the holiday season.