Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January is National Mentoring Month!

At its most basic level, mentoring helps because it guarantees a young person that there is someone who cares about them. A child is not alone in dealing with day-to-day worries.

Think back. Did you know how to study for a test or make plans for college? Do you remember wanting your first car or looking for a part-time job? Simple things that seem easy or straightforward to you now may appear to be a complete mystery to a young person.

Mentors provide their mentees with an experienced friend who is there to help in any number of situations. Mentoring by a caring adult over a prolonged period of time has been shown in countless academic studies to be effective in combating a variety of risk factors. A number of studies have revealed a correlation between a young person’s involvement in a quality mentoring relationship and positive outcomes in the areas of school, mental health, problem behavior and health (DuBois & Karcher, 2005; Rhodes, 2002; Zimmerman, Bingenheimer & Behrendt, 2005).

Did you know that nearly 18 million young Americans need or want mentoring, but only three million are in formal, high-quality mentoring relationships? That means more than 15 million young people still need mentors. That unmet need constitutes what we call the "mentoring gap." Finding mentors for 15 million children is a tremendous challenge that we are working to close, community by community. And with each new mentoring initiative, with each new collaboration between schools and businesses, we are steadily closing the gap. Will you help?

To find out more about ways to make a difference in the lives of Tippecanoe County youth by becoming a mentor, click here.

This article is shared and adapted from

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