January is National Mentoring Month
by Hilary Amedy, Mentoring Program Coordinator
January is National Mentoring Month and is the largest-scale mentoring campaign nationwide. National Mentoring Month offers us a chance to celebrate the mentoring relationships essential to creating sustainable futures for our youth.
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use. In turn, these young people are:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
- 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
Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in our community there are 190 kids who could benefit from having a mentor.
National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in real life. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real life decisions.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.
Mentors spend at least one hour a week with their mentee and do a variety of activities together from educational to recreational. We have a need for community mentors and site based mentors. Community based mentors pick up their mentee at the mentee’s home and choose what they are going to do out in the community. Site based mentors meet at the Sizer Charter School twice a week as a “lunch buddy” and Plumley Village mentors meet on Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:00 in Worcester.
Other ways to volunteer are to join our Mentoring Advisory Board, volunteer or support us in our fundraising efforts (Rodman Ride for Kids or the Kids at Heart Mentoring Gala), donate passes to a local game for our matches to attend, recruit your friends to be mentors or invite us to speak at your place of employment or civic organization. If you or someone you know would like to become a mentor please contact us at Mentoring@LUK.org or call 800-579-0000 and ask for the LUK Mentoring Program.
LUK Mentors are the backbone of this program and are so generous with their time and energy. We want to thank all the LUK Mentors who have shared their life experiences, knowledge and wisdom with our mentees. You are the best!!