Mentoring Youth

Why Mentor Youths? Benefits For Mentors and Youths

If you attended your high school classes regularly, abstained from taking drugs or drinking, and attended college, you may have a mentor to thank. You’re probably part of the, approximately, 67-percent of people who’ve had a mentor growing up. However, 1-out-of-3 people are not as fortunate to have the positive influence of a mentor, according to Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Mentors and programs like Boys and Girls Club of America are important to the well-being of your communities. They are beneficial to all youths, but they have a marked impact on the lives of at-risk youth.

Mentors act as a positive influence for at-risk youths likely to skip classes, participate in recreational drug use, and drop out of high school. As a mentor you act as a listening ear, show an interest, and provide guidance that can make a difference to such a child. 

Mentor explains, “Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel like they matter.”

According to youth.gov, the benefits to youth are numerous:

·         Increased high school graduation rates
·         Lower high school dropout rates
·         Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
·         Better attitude about school
·         Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
·         Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
·         Improved behavior, both at home and at school
·         Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
·         Improved interpersonal skills
·         Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use

There are also benefits to mentors:

·         Increased self-esteem
·         A sense of accomplishment
·         Creation of networks of volunteers
·         Insight into childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood
·         Increased patience and improved supervisory skills

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D., a Fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, there are six qualities that would make you a good mentor:

·         You are Supportive
·         You are an Active Listener
·         You Push—Just Enough
·         You Have Authentic Interest in Youth as Individual
·         You Foster Self Decision-Making
·         You Lend Perspective

If you have an interest in helping children and making a difference in your community, consider becoming a mentor. You may change the life of a youth for the better, and you’ll see some positive changes in your life, as well.