The three E’s (Environment, Education, and Experience) are essential to finding a mentor. If you’re in a positive environment throughout grade school, middle school, and high school, in most cases there’s going to be positive adult mentors. In your communication with your parents or guardians, certain names are going to keep coming up. Often those are the names of people you respect for the way they teach and conduct themselves. You can tell they care about young people.
Once you’ve determined who you’d like to be your mentor, share the name of the person with your parents. If they’re in agreement, assess how much the person values education. Your mentor might not always be someone with a college degree, but they might be unbelievably gifted when it comes to common sense and street smartness.
Next, evaluate how well they are respected in the broader community and observe the friends of the person. You’re looking for someone with very high standards. In most cases if your mentor has high standards, they’ll expect the same from you. And if they’re someone of high character, normally I look at the three to five people closest to this person. “Birds of a feather flock together.” If their peers and associates are people of high character, you get a true read of your potential mentor’s character. “Show me your friends and mentors and I’ll tell you who you are.”