Research shows that mentored youth are 52 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 37 percent less likely to skip a class, 33 percent less likely to hit someone, and 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol.
In addition, research has shown that 84 percent of youth who are mentored have better self-esteem, 62 percent are more aware of educational opportunities and 57 percent have improved family relationships. From these statistics it seems that mentoring has an effect on positive youth development.
The RSVP at the United Way of Wyandotte County has targeted mentoring as an important issue that needs support of volunteers. They are currently recruiting individuals 55 and over who are interested in making a difference in the life of a young person. This can be accomplished with the commitment of just 30 to 60 minutes a week. This small investment of time has such a positive effect in the life of a child.
What does it take to be an RSVP mentor? It takes a caring adult volunteer at least 55 years old who is willing to make a commitment to a youth in need. RSVP at the United Way of Wyandotte County is collaborating with a number of youth focused organizations to help them recruit volunteer mentors. Volunteers will be interviewed by the mentoring program, and agree to a background check. Programs will provide training for volunteer mentors and support to the volunteer as needed. It is simple to become a mentor and to positively impact the life of young person in our community.
Those who would like more information on how to become an RSVP mentor may contact Emily at 913-371-3674, Ext. 1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane Hentges is director of the Volunteer Center at the United Way of Wyandotte County.