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.