JANUARY IS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH, A TIME TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE POSITIVE EFFECTS MENTORS HAVE ON CHILDREN
Children in foster care face so many obstacles. They are at a much higher risk of arrest, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and low self-esteem. In fact, roughly 70% of them do no graduate from high school. These odds make it seem almost impossible for foster youth to escape the risks of the system. But, with a mentor the chances of success are limitless.
At-risk youth who have mentors are more likely to stay in school and are more empowered to make better lifestyle choices. Our Chance to Advance program staff work closely with children in foster care and provide them with one-on-one mentors. These volunteers are paired with youth between the ages of 8-21 and help them by serving as a role model and a lifeline they can depend on.
The difference between at-risk youth with and without mentors is staggering. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
At-risk youth with a mentor are:
more likely to enroll in college
less likely to use drugs
more likely to volunteer their time in the community
It’s obvious that mentors make a real difference in the lives of youth. Then why are 9 million kids in the U.S. growing up without one? Some people interested in being a mentor may be afraid of making the time commitment. Don’t worry, we work with our volunteer mentors to plan visits that fit into their schedules. Plus, once you start mentoring, you’ll find that the reward is much greater than you could have imagined.
“Mentoring to me is isn’t a chore; it’s a privilege,” said Denise Devlin, Chance to Advance mentor and Manager of Grants at EAC Network. “In just a few hours a month, and over a period of time, I know I can help make a real difference in my mentee’s life just by letting them know they are special.”
Have you had a mentor change your life? Let us know! And remember to thank them this month.
To learn more about Chance to Advance and becoming a mentor, click here.
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Cassandra Huneke was the Development & Marketing Specialist at EAC Network. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in English and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Media Studies at The New School University in New York City.