Work & Purpose

What’s Your Favorite Movie About Mentoring?

Tell Generation to Generation and you might win free movie tickets

It’s National Mentoring Month and you could win free movie tickets because of it — maybe become a mentor, too. Here’s the connection:

Generation to Generation, a campaign powered by the nonprofit Encore.org to bring more people over 50 into the lives of young people, is launching its Gen2Gen Movies & Mentors contest today. The goals: to choose the Top 10 intergenerational mentoring movies of all time and encourage people over 50 to become mentors.

The Gen2Gen Movies & Mentors Contest

You’re invited to nominate your favorite and explain how the film influenced your life. Then, on Feb. 23, a winner will be chosen; the prize is $500 in movie tickets. (Enter the contest on the Generation to Generation site.)

On March 6, Generation to Generation will announce the Top 25 films from its crowdsourced contest and the public will be invited to vote for the Top 10 by March 27. On March 28, a second winner of $500 in movie tickets will be selected, and on April 10, the Top 10 Gen2Gen mentoring movies will be announced.

Mentoring Movies That Made a Difference

“The big screen has long conveyed intergenerational mentoring relationships and we wanted to capture what people see and make it real in their own lives,” said Eunice Lin Nichols, vice president and campaign director for Generation to Generation. The group’s partners for the contest: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Strive for College, Big Brother Big Sisters of America and the Village to Village Network.

There are so many choices of intergenerational mentoring movies. To name a few, and spark some memories: The Karate Kid, Star Wars, Akeelah and the Bee, Creed, Up, Harry Potter, My Fair Lady, Million Dollar Baby, Dead Poet’s Society, Lord of the Rings, Good Will Hunting and Almost Famous. You can watch clips from some of them above.

Tearing Up at ‘The Karate Kid’

“I watched Karate Kid with my boys [age 9 and 11] last month and I am pleased to report that Mr. Miyagi’s appeal stands the test of time: ‘Wax on! Wax off!’” said Nichols. “I’m not even ashamed to admit that I teared up a little at the scene where Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel his lessons aren’t just about karate, they’re about life — and Daniel responds, ‘You’re the best friend I ever had.’”

Another favorite in her family: Star Wars. “My kids have watched The Empire Strikes Back more than any other movie. They can see Yoda mentor Luke and now, in the new Star Wars, Luke as an older man mentoring Rey.”

Hold a Mentoring Movie Party

For inspiration, Generation to Generation invites you to host a Gen2Gen Movies & Mentors Watch Party in your home between now and April. Before or after screening the film, guests are invited to discuss local opportunities to mentor and be mentored. (Here’s where you can sign up to learn more about hosting one.)

“We’ll have small thank-you gifts to the first 100 who sign up for Movies & Mentors Watch Parties,” said Nichols.

Nichols offers this challenge to people over 50: “Look around you and the places you go — to church, to synagogue, where you drop off your grandkids at school. Get to know your grandkids’ friends and see if there’s a mentoring need you can meet.”

Becoming a mentor — whether it’s through tutoring, coaching or some other way — can really make a difference in a young person’s life. According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, with a mentor, at-risk youth are 52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college, 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs and 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.

“Mentoring can happen anywhere, anytime,” said Nichols. “Every young person needs older adults looking out for them in life.”

Richard Eisenberg
By Richard Eisenberg
Richard Eisenberg is the Senior Web Editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue and Managing Editor for the site. He is the author of How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis and has been a personal finance editor at Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and CBS MoneyWatch.@richeis315

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