Nine million kids in America are growing up without an answer to this question. They make everyday choices that lead up to life’s big decisions without enough guidance and support – the kind most of us count on. Every kid should have someone to turn to, a caring adult who provides a consistent, supportive and guiding hand to young people — a mentor.
At its most basic level, mentoring is successful in real life because it guarantees youth and teens that there is someone who cares about them and that they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges. At a more complex level, there is a powerful mentoring effect that ultimately makes our community stronger.
Quality mentoring programs are proven to build relationships that help improve school attendance and academic achievement, promote responsible decision making, and provide skills to better navigate relationships at school, socially and at home. A report by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership found that young adults who were at risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
MENTOR’s report found that one in three young people will grow up without a mentor. We need to close this mentoring gap.
January is National Mentoring Month, celebrating the benefits of quality youth mentoring across the country. The National Mentoring Month public awareness campaign, recognized by presidential and congressional proclamation, is led by MENTOR, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
National Mentoring Month also acknowledges all those who give generously of themselves by mentoring youth “informally” as tutors, coaches, teachers, volunteers and friends.
Won’t you join us in spreading the word about the value of mentoring? Our kids deserve it.