January 2015 marks the 14th annual National Mentoring Month. Trekkers, a local youth mentoring organization, is participating in this year’s campaign to celebrate mentors, and to spread the word about quality mentoring opportunities that can connect more young people with caring adults.
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 and stay focused and engaged in school. Mentoring can also help students reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities. In a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people 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. They were also:
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in our community, there are many young people who could benefit from having a mentor, and many opportunities at Trekkers to become a mentor.
“We know firsthand that there is a powerful mentoring effect when a young person is connected with a caring adult mentor,” said Don Carpenter, Trekkers’ Executive Director. “Mentoring can change lives. Just by being there for a young person, taking time to listen, encourage, and validate them, a mentor can make a significant difference. Mentoring has also been linked to improved academic, social and economic outcomes for young people, and that ultimately strengthens our community. During National Mentoring Month, we’re taking the opportunity to thank all our mentors and to encourage others to become mentors.”
Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make them feel like someone who matters in another person’s life. To encourage more community members to volunteer as mentors, Trekkers is sharing a simple message: Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters.
As Trekkers continues to expand and serve more students, the need for caring adult volunteers and mentors is increasing. In addition to helping with programs and expeditions, volunteers can also support Trekkers by tutoring or mentoring students, helping with fundraising events and assisting with administrative tasks, such as preparing newsletters for mailing. To learn more about mentoring at Trekkers, please call the office at 594-5095. For more information about volunteer opportunities, visit www.trekkers.org.
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. Other important dates for this year’s public awareness campaign include:
- January 8, 2015: “I Am a Mentor Day,” when volunteers across our community and the country
will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #SomeoneWhoMatters.
- January 15, 2015: “Thank Your Mentor Day,” when we encourage anyone who has had a
mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using
- 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.