This January marks the 19th Annual Mentoring Month. The goal of recognizing this month is to expand our mentoring opportunities. We also aim to connect the children in our community with selfless adults. Inside January, join us in celebrating a few other campaigns aimed to increase participation in this cause.
- January 8th, 2020 is recognized as “I am a mentor day”, where current mentors are encouraged to share their stories and experiences across social media.
- January 17th, 2020 is recognized as International Mentoring day, where everyone is encouraged to recognize the people who dedicate their time to mentor others. It takes a lot of effort, so go out and say thank you!
- January 20th, 2020 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is more than just a day off of work or school, as it puts MLK in the spotlight, one of the most influential mentors of all time.
- January 30th, 2020 wraps up National Mentoring Month with Thank Your Mentor Day. This is a day where we encourage those with mentors to thank them for all that they’ve done. Share your story on social media using the hashtag #ThankYourMentor!
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is defined as someone who is capable of providing guidance to someone who is less experienced in a certain discipline. This can include sports, work, volunteer events, and more. Here at the Harrisburg Area YMCA, we offer lots of programs that can teach you the concept of mentoring and ways you can get involved in the local community. Check your local branches’ dates and availability to see how you can get involved!
Mentoring Today’s Youth
With the environment we live in today, it is important to be a role model for today’s youth! Why not start with being a mentor? Children will see positive benefits immediately after starting out. Read below to see some of these benefits.
- Higher HS/College graduation rate – Children who have had the benefit of being mentored have a higher chance of graduating from high school and/or college. Many believe this is due to their mentor raising their self-esteem and creating goals for them. Having attainable yet strong goals is important to start at a young age.
- Lower depression symptoms – This benefit is one of the most important, since we have such a high rate of depression is today’s youth. Giving them a listening ear and giving them the confidence they need to get through the day can go a long way.
- Positive Change – To some children, their mentor may be the closest thing they have to a stable role model. Checking in with them and meeting them once or twice a month may not seem like much to you, but it is to them. It’s time to do our part and give back.
Stats Associated with Youth Mentoring
Below are statistics found by MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partner. These include benefits children see in their health, school, social life, and their community.
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 37% less likely to skip class
- 78% more likely to volunteer in the community
- 90% more likely to become a mentor themselves
- 46% less likely to do drugs
- 27% less likely to drink
- 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities
As you can see from these statistics, mentoring will not only benefit you but will benefit the whole community. This gives children a safe place to hang out after school and a role model they can rely on. The best part is, if they have a good experience, the statistics show that they will be more inclined to be a mentor when they grow up. It’s a never-ending cycle that we should START NOW!
Programs at the YMCA
If you’re looking to involve yourself, I have good news for you! Several of our branches have some sort of mentorship program you can involve yourself in! They range from teaming up with troubled youth who are headed down the wrong path (Man up and Sisters Helping Sisters), to working with our elementary school kids (Little Leaders). These programs are little to no cost, so don’t hesitate to step up and start today! Click here to see the times and dates for each program.
—Kyle Caskie, Marketing Intern