Are you one to change the life of a child? Mentoring is a powerful relationship that provides support and guidance to youth who may not have a role model in their life. The Uinta County Business Leadership Network (UCBLN) youth initiative, MentorABILITY, is looking for mentors for more than 30 youth between the ages of 11 and 17 who have a disability or are at-risk.
Children and adolescents are at important periods of development. Youth are vulnerable to taking the wrong step, which is why mentors are important for them. Mentors can share their worldviews, experiences, knowledge, support and advice, as well as provide a positive influence. By introducing youth to new experiences and sharing positive values, mentors can help young people avoid negative behaviors and achieve success. For example:
• 59 percent of mentored teenagers earn better grades.
• 27 percent of mentored youth are less likely to begin using alcohol.
• 52 percent of mentored youth are less likely to skip schools.
• Youth with mentors have increased likelihood of going to college, better attitudes toward school, increases social and emotional development, and improved self-esteem.
Research studies agree. Based on 55 studies of mentoring programs, there is a benefit of program participation for youth, with at risk youth being more likely to benefit. A similar study of 46 programs for delinquency (aggression, drug use and academic achievement) found mentoring for high-risk youth to have a positive effect on delinquency, academic functioning, aggression and drug use.
You can become a mentor today. Not only is mentorship beneficial for mentees, mentors gain from the experience. Mentors learn about themselves, enhance their resumes, improve interpersonal skills, develop empathy and gain a deeper understanding of youth problems. Most importantly, mentors gain a sense of accomplishment by positively impacting the life of another person; the process of helping youth achieve their potential and discover their strengths is rewarding.
To become the change for youth, you must be at least 18, submit to a background check, commit 4-6 hours per month, have weekly contact, and commit to one year as a mentor. Please contact Anna Kunz or Wanda Rogers at (307) 783-6302 for additional information and to start the application process.