Why Become a Mentor?

mentoringAt LifeFAQs, we believe that mentoring is of crucial importance in making a difference in the lives of teenagers. Mentoring engages the community to participate in creating solutions to the issues we face regarding youth and family. We also believe the old saying is true: It takes a village to raise a child. Our hope is to see community partnerships unfold between local businesses, churches, schools and the average every day citizen to help raise our children to become successful and productive members of our community.

It Isn’t Going to Be Easy…
Teens face many unique challenges in this day and age as technological advances increase the speed of communication, allowing children and adolescence to be exposed to adult-sensitive information without increasing the speed of their development. Several major contributing factors include, but are not limited to break downs in the family, child abuse and neglect, as well as negative peer to peer influence. As a result, a myriad of symptoms have emerged in youth culture that put our youth at risk. The top 5 issues are: substance abuse, mental health, obesity and teenage sexuality. For example, did you know that:

  • According to the new national study done by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (June 2011), substance abuse in adolescence is America’s number 1 public health problem.
  • 1 in every 10 children and adolescents in the United States experience severe mental illness that causes some level of impairment. Yet only less than 1 of 5 children have received the appropriate treatment.
  • Approximately 16.9% of 16 to 19 year old children and adolescents in the United States are obese.
  • Unplanned pregnancies among teens are 82% while only 59% of the teen pregnancies lead to birth because 27% of these pregnancies end up in abortion.

[Source: http://www.atriskyouthprograms.com/youth-programs/information-on-at-risk-youth-statistics.html]

How Does Mentoring Help?

  1. It’s all about relationship. Can you think of a time in your life when someone was there when you needed them the most? Mentoring positions you to be that person in someone else’s life. Make a choice to invest your time in others rather than just spending it.
  2. Our schools need us! In each of the schools that LifeFAQs has been invited to be involved in, administrators identify mentors as their biggest need to help motivate students increase their attendance, improve their behavior and their grades.
  3. You have a unique skill set. All of our experiences on this planet are unique to us and could be invaluable in the development of a student. Drawing from your experiences, you can influence a student in the way they will go and help them make positive choices!

There are many other reasons that mentoring can help a student. You may also experience additional benefits to you as you serve. You may discover things about yourself as you work with a student. You also experience a sense of fulfilment as they give back to their community. The possibilities are endless when human beings connect with the intention to better know and be known.

In and of ourselves, we cannot fix any of the problems that youth face today. However, if we all band together and do our part, we can make a significant change in the directions that culture is shifting. And let’s not underestimate the power that your impact will have on the one life you invest in. The value of a human soul is priceless.