Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways To Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
-3 million youth are currently involved in a mentoring program.
-15 million youth are in need of mentoring. If they don’t get it they’re more likely to not reach adulthoood successfully. These youth are: 73% more likely to begin using alcohol, 63% more likely to skip class, 54% more likely to begin using drugs, 48% more likely to skip school.
-Nearly 70% of inner-city 4th graders are unable to read at a basic level.
-Nearly 3 million youth ages 12-15 are at risk of suicide annually, and over 35% will attempt suicide.
1. Find a mentoring program near you and apply to become a mentor.
2. Most mentoring programs will pair you with a child based on your skill set and the child’s needs.
3. If their isn’t a mentoring program in your area, be a self-starter and START ONE!
4. Spend an hour or two, once a week, with your mentee doing everyday activities like homework, playing sports and having simple conversations.
5. Set goals with your mentee and share in the excitement of their achievement and growth.
I am sure there are many programs that allow you to mentor a child, but the biggest one that comes to mind is Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I know what a great organization this is, and there are more kids than Big Brothers/Sisters. As a parent of young children, I know this isn’t something I can add to my schedule right now. But I do try to be involved in other children’s lives through volunteering at school and through our churches After School Jams program. We encourage children in the community to come after school and frequently the kids that come don’t have parents home after school, and are looking for someone to be there for them.
Find a way to be involved in children’s lives. You could be that one person to make a difference and take them down the right path. Kids can do great things if equipped with the right foundation, knowledge, enccouragement, and tools to make the right choices. The decisions they make can change the entire course of their future. What matters most is that YOU CARE!
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