(Victor Valley)–Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month? Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has helped raise awareness of the need for supportive, adult mentors in a child’s life. At Inland Empire United Way, we are committed to helping disadvantaged youth succeed in school and be prepared for future self-sufficiency. Through our Mentor Connection initiative we are helping to place positive adult role models with quality reading, tutoring and mentoring programs throughout the Inland Empire.
When Heber, a youth attending Fresh Start Ministries’ tutoring and mentoring program, originally started the program he struggled with his math homework. Since attending Fresh Start Ministries’ program and receiving much needed help from a volunteer mentor, Heber has learned all of his multiplication tables and has even been recognized as Student of the Month.
Research demonstrates that mentoring can play a powerful role in preventing substance abuse and youth violence, and increasing academic achievement and the likelihood of attending college. In short, it’s an effective, low-cost strategy for helping at-risk youth to reach for future success.
Here in the Inland Empire, there are literally thousands of youth needing a positive role model in their life. And you can get involved and make a difference by volunteering to become a reader, tutor or mentor with as little as a couple hours a week. There are a variety of opportunities throughout the region and United Way has almost 20 different options on our Mentor Connection website. To find a local reading, tutoring, or mentoring program near you, click here to visit our HandsOn Inland Empire website for volunteer opportunities. It just might be the best decision you make in 2013!