Each day, nearly 150 youth (Grades K-12) attend a YES Center. We maximize the out-of-school learning that is crucial to bridge the learning gap between families with low-incomes and their high-earning peers. We recognize that our kids deserve additional support. We're launching Mentor Networks of Engagement for Tomorrow (MENTOR NET) to provide it.
MENTOR NET's primary goal is to give each child a mentoring experience that will build confidence, link positive role models, and encourage educational and personal development. Through this program, we aim to:
- extend the social support system of youth through consistent, positive connections to trusted adults
- guide youth through self-discovery and career exploration
- develop a professional network to help youth successfully transition to adulthood
- to provide an opportunity for the YES community-at-large to invest in youth through ongoing engagement at a variety levels.
MENTOR NET reinforces the impact of our programs, widens each child's team of advisers and cheerleaders, and establishes the necessary connections for long-term success.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
- Mentors will serve as advisers and cheerleaders for their mentee, helping to build confidence while encouraging educational and personal development.
- Mentors commit at least 1 hour every month for the school year (October-May).
- All mentoring takes place at YES Centers on weekdays during the after-school program (4-6 pm).
- We will work with your schedule to find the best day of the month for you to visit your mentee.
- Expect to do all sorts of activities with your mentee: homework help, sharing hobbies/interests, teaching life and study skills, career exploration, listening and giving advice, playing sports, or games, arts/crafts, etc.
- Training and monthly guidance are offered to ensure that you have successful and meaningful encounters. No prior mentoring experience is required!
Human connections are invaluable. There's even data to support the effectiveness of these investments! According to the Department of Youth, the supportive, healthy relationships formed between mentors and mentees are both immediate and long-term. Building positive mentor relationships contributes to a host of benefits:
- Meaningful mentor relationships can increase a child's self-confidence and encourage them to develop new goals and dreams for themselves.
- Rates of absenteeism and recurrent behavior problems have been shown to decrease while graduation rates and attitude about schools improve.
- Mentoring can help close social and economic gaps which impacts both children and communities.
- The Role Risk Study (2013) showed the strongest benefit of mentoring was a reduction in depressive symptoms, with 1 in 4 youth reporting levels of depression at baseline.
People who mentor build important leadership, management, and creative skills while giving back to the community. If you aren't fully ready leap into the MENTOR NET, you can serve in another capacity! Become a READY Book Buddy (and support our literacy program for 2nd-5th grade students); serve as a guest for our Speaker Series (Chat with youth about about life skills such as interviewing, personal branding, etiquette, speaking, mindfulness, etc.); or join the new Career Connections (linking you with youth who aspire to be in a similar field).
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.