As the number of local children who could benefit from positive adult role models in their lives continues to grow, more volunteer mentors are needed, according to Amy Halicky, Youth Mentoring Network coordinator at Youth Services System Inc.
“Studies show that children who have positive adult role models in their lives are more confident. They are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to enroll in college and more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol,” Halicky said.
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“We are currently in great need of adult mentors to volunteer to spend time with a child mentee. Mentors must be at least 18. They can be individuals or couples, college students, empty-nesters. We ask our mentors to make a one-year commitment and spend at least four hours a month with their mentee,” she said.
Prospective mentors are interviewed and undergo background checks. Once cleared, a mentor is matched with a child ages 6-17 based on shared interests.
The Youth Mentoring Network sponsors monthly events for the mentors and mentees to attend. All matches are closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained social worker.
The Youth Mentoring Network formerly was a chapter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national organization. YSS took on the program in 2015.