For several years now, Gary Myers has donated countless hours helping 4-H youth with their fair projects. And for this he should be lauded highly.
Just this Wednesday, it was Jakob Paulson Myers was helping, showing him how to weld a planter stand. Myers has an incredible rapport with youth, joking, urging, inspiring, cajoling - so they always end up with a smile on their faces and pride in their work.
It isn't just boys who have received the benefit of Myers' knowledge, either. He's also taught girls how to weld 4-H projects, helping them break gender barriers their grandparents would have thought insurmountable.
Teaching a girl how to weld in the 1960s would have been tantamount to preaching heresy - right up there with Title IX legislation.
Thankfully, today we have people like Myers who are not only willing and able but eager to teach youth something that's not only a craft but a trade that's in high demand.
We could all learn the value of mentoring from Myers' example. Mentoring is something that helps both the mentor and student. Obviously, the student learns from the mentor's experience - shortcuts, how to avoid pitfalls and mistakes, tricks of the trade.
Mentors gain a sense of satisfaction by having helped a youth gain a skill that can help him or her for a lifetime.
Myers sets a great example as a mentor. And Jakob sets a great example for the skills he's learning. Even better, Jakob and other youth like him are learning what a great mentor is - and how they can become one someday themselves.