January marks a month-long recognition and celebration of mentoring -- those relationships with positive role models who teach, inspire, and guide us.
Non-profit organization MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, founded National Mentoring Month in 2002 to draw attention to the important role mentors play in our lives, especially among youth, and the increasing need for mentors in our communities. As MENTOR describes, “mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved and influences their lives at home, at work and in their communities. For those who are being mentored, it is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects.” Mentors can be especially impactful in the lives of youth from low-income environments. At-risk youth with a mentor are 52% less likely to skip a day of school, 55% more likely to enroll in college, and demonstrate more positive attitudes towards school than their peers.
At the Y, mentors take many forms. Mentors are tutors who inspire academic achievement among youth in our after-school programs, volunteers who encourage leadership development in our Teen Leaders Club, and coaches who teach sportsmanship and life-skills both on and off the field. Mentors are also our child care staff, camp counselors, and after-school leaders who model the Y’s mission and core values for youth each and every day.
As we begin 2018, we encourage you to reflect on the mentors who have impacted your life -- a teacher, a coach, a parent, a friend -- and become a mentor in your community. For opportunities at the Y, contact your local family center. For more information about National Mentoring Month and how you can get involved, visit http://www.mentoring.org/