January marks the 14th annual National Mentoring Month, and Children’s Friend and Family Services is participating in this campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults by recruiting new mentors.
“There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor,” said Samantha Alves, Director of Youth Mentoring at Children’s Friend and Family Services . “Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for your people, and that ultimately strengthens our community.”
Children’s Friend and Family Services is proud of the Youth Mentoring Program. In 2014, mentors spent an estimated collective 5,978 hours with their mentees and 26 new mentors from across the North Shore and Greater Lawrence. In this time Children’s Fiend had one mentee graduate from Rockport High School and begin her freshman year at Bridgewater State University. She is the first member of her family to attend school beyond high school. In 2014 with the help of the Youth Mentoring Program, five mentees got their first summer jobs, eight mentees went to summer camp for at least two weeks, two mentees took summer kids classes at North Shore Community College, eleven mentees participated in community college group tours, and nine mentees tried joined a local or school sports team.
Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.
Other important dates for this public awareness campaign include:
•January 8, 2015: “I Am a Mentor Day,” when volunteers across our community and the country shared their stories about being a mentor on social media using #SomeoneWhoMatters.
•January 15, 2015: “Thank your Mentor Day,” when we encouraged anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #SomeoneWhoMatters.
•January 19, 2015: Martin Luther king Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities to learn more about mentoring.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: the National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard School of Public Health with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the president and the united States Congress. Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and usher.
“Our Youth Mentoring program continues to grow and we look forward to 2015!” said Alves.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, Call Alves at 978-219-1528 or visit childrensfriend.net.