The importance of mentors for youths

By Brittany Farrar on 7th Jan 2020

A young man and his mentor

Happy new year! It’s the start of a new decade, so why not kick it off by setting personal goals for you and your family? Whether health- or fitness-related or focused on doing better at school or work, setting goals can lead to more productivity and confidence. And, luckily, there’s are apps to help, especially for your kids. See this helpful list of goal-setting apps for students.

Another way to help your child succeed this year is to consider finding him or her a mentor, particularly as they are entering the college-planning and preparation phase of high school. January is National Mentoring Awareness Month, and research from The National Mentoring Partnership shows many positive effects a mentor can have on a young person’s life.

Positive effects a mentor can have:
55% more likely to enroll in college
52% less likely to skip school
81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities
78% more likely to volunteer in their community
46% less likely to use illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking
130% more likely to hold leadership positions

Mentors help improve a child’s self-esteem, as well as their social and emotional development. Parents are great for guidance, but it is also good for your child to have extra support from another caring adult. Maybe there is already a natural mentor in your child’s life – a coach, teacher, church or community leader. If not, consider getting your child involved in a local mentoring program.

A few mentoring programs in Middle Tennessee include:
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
YMCA
PENCIL
BLAZE Mentoring Program

If one of your goals is to volunteer more, what better way to give back than by becoming a positive and supportive adult in a young person’s life? The above programs, as well as Youth Villages, offer amazing opportunities for mentoring.

“Becoming a mentor has truly changed my life,” said Natalie Logan, director of public relations at FlyteVu and current mentor with Youth Villages in Middle Tennessee. “You might think being a mentor is only about the knowledge you share and the love you show, but it is also about all the things these incredible young adults teach you about patience, resilience, friendship, hope, joy and so much more.”

If you decide to set new goals this year, good luck! We hope you will consider mentoring as a great 2020 goal for you and your child.

Brittany Farrar is the regional director of Middle Tennessee programs and Tennessee Specialized Crisis Services for Youth Villages. If you want to learn more about mentoring, please contact Youth Villages at 615-250-7200 or www.youthvillages.org/mentoring.

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