January is Mentoring Month. The Lord Baltimore Lions Club has mentors in the Sussex County schools, and I’m proud to be one of them. This is a hands-on, face-to-face commitment with our future generation.
Our local community has a pool of retired residents who are ideal for this program. It is a no-cost program to mentors, and it is proven that mentoring makes a difference in helping young people make smarter life choices. This is a statewide program and should be in all of the schools.
The commitment is about one hour a week at the school you select, during the school year. Here are some of the measured outcomes.
How does mentoring help? (Source: Making the Connection-Connecting Generations training manual 2015)
The benefits of mentoring are well-documented. Studies by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware and Creative Mentoring have found the following improvements by youth:
• 81 percent exhibit improved self-confidence, self-esteem and self-control;
• 61 percent show an improved attitude toward learning;
• 46 percent are less likely to start using illegal drugs;
• 52 percent are less likely to skip school;
• 27 percent are less likely to start drinking.
What are the benefits to the mentor?
• You have an opportunity to give something back to the community.
• You learn how to better communicate with young people.
• You are doing something very positive and you feel better.
Think about it! This is a win-win program for the mentee, for you, and for our community’s next generation. It takes time to get the application processed, and there is required training to get you up to speed, so get started now.
Mentoring is the best-kept secret in Delaware.
Go to www.connecting-generations.org or contact your local school for information on the program.