Mentoring Makes a Difference
"Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee." (MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership)
Research has confirmed what many of us know from experience: mentoring works. Partnerships that meet consistently and last at least a year can have numerous benefits. Youth who are mentored are more likely to stay in school and go to college. It appears that substance abuse and violent behaviors can be prevented, while conflict resolution and communication skills are enhanced. Youth are more likely to engage in extra curricular activities, including community service, resulting in an enhanced sense of well-being. All of this adds up to a brighter future for our youth and social capital for us all.
"The adult Senior Partners are wonderful, caring people who make a tremendous difference in the lives of children. I have observed marked improvement in children’s self-esteem as a direct result from the care and services of Windsor County Partners. The organization is a valuable asset to our community’s greatest resource, children.” (MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership)
Did you know that youth who participate in mentoring programs for at least 18 months are:
- At least 46% less likely to initiate drug use.
- At least 27% less likely to initiate alcohol use.
- At least 32% less likely to hit someone.
Who Can Benefit?
It is estimated that 12,000 Vermont youth could benefit from a mentor. Windsor County youth who could benefit from a consistent, one-to-one relationship with an adult friend are referred primarily by teachers, school counselors, social service agencies and parents and guardians. Both the child and family are expected to be supportive of the mentoring partnership and anticipate involvement for at least a year.
Program staff takes into account youth’s needs and their desires to participate in the program, as well as their ability to interact well with a volunteer. Our staff works closely with these referral sources to custom match caring, adult volunteers with the boys and girls based on interests, needs, temperament and geographical proximity.