This writer has only been mentoring for a short time, but Ms. “V” is finding the “time spent” for her and her mentee, a rewarding endeavor that is accomplished week by week. There was extensive training, personal screening and there is continuous help for anyone who would like to take the plunge and accept the challenge. “Visit a child for 1 hour NOW, instead of an hour in the penitentiary” - VJP. You can make a difference and remember it does take a village.
Since the Dec. 7, 2011 kick-off luncheon, more than one thousand volunteers have signed up to be Mayor’s Mentors. Mayor Brown’s goal of recruiting 500 new school-based mentors by April 1 was exceeded with 503 mentors trained and placed in schools by the goal date at no cost to taxpayers.
The “Achievers For Life” Program provides sixth-grade, at-risk students at Arlington, Fort Caroline, Matthew Gilbert, Northwestern, Jeb Stuart and Jefferson Davis Middle Schools integrated, safety net services for the family and the student. This holistic approach is critical in stabilizing the family so that the child comes to school prepared to learn. Every family and student receives services and guidance from a Family Advocate, an Achievement Advocate and a caring mentor. The focus of Achievers For Life is to develop skills and behaviors among targeted students so that they will be successful in school and life.
General Findings: Overall, youth participating in mentoring relationships experience positive academic and social returns: • Better attendance in school • Fewer in-school disciplinary problems • Increased chance of going on to higher education • Better attitudes toward education • Prevention of substance abuse • Reduces negative youth behaviors • Positive social attitudes and relationships • Disadvantaged or at-risk youth benefit the most from mentoring • The average mentoring relationship lasts nine (9) months • Mentors spend an average of 13 hours a month with mentees.
Key Findings: Students with mentors are 46% less likely to use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol • 56% reported better relationships with peers and family • 64% had higher levels of self-confidence • Over 3,000,000 adults have formal, one-to-one mentoring relationships with young people • 96% of existing mentors would recommend mentoring to others • 44 million Americans not in a mentoring relationship would seriously consider it • The majority of mentors are willing to work with youth in difficult situations, including those with incarcerated parents, disabilities or are immigrants • Individuals with the most education are most likely to mentor • Adults in households with children are more likely to mentor • People employed full time and part time are most likely to mentor.
There are a variety of reasons for mentoring:
- Desire to help young people succeed
- Desire to make a difference in someone’s life
- Desire to give back to the community
- Religious and spiritual reasons
- Someone helped them when they were young
Contact the United Way to commit to an hour a week and become a mentor. Give them a call at (904) 632-0600 or dial 2-1-1. Click here to register online.
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