National Mentoring Month is recognized in January each year. It is a reminder to show appreciation for all the ways mentors help support and shape the youth of the community.
“Although it is important to have a month designated for these selfless role models, they are appreciated throughout the year by the staff at the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, the families of the children they mentor and the children themselves,” said Jill Hampton, JUMP program manager.
In honor of the National Mentoring Month, the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau and its JUMP program will have a special luncheon 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 29 at the YSB.
“This is a time to celebrate with the volunteers in this program and thank them for their generosity,” Hampton said. “The volunteers do what they do out of caring and kindness, not recognition, but they are giving back in ways that will forever change lives. These mentors know how important a positive role model is in the life of a young person.”
Sadly, one out of three children will grow up without a mentor. Children who are fortunate enough to have a mentor will have improved self-esteem, improved interpersonal skills and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol. Studies have shown that young adults who had a mentor are 55% more likely to go to college or trade school, 78% were more likely to volunteer regularly, 90% are more likely to want to become a mentor themselves and to hold leadership positions.
“These kids thrive in every way just by having someone to listen and support them, as well as by helping them to make good decisions as they navigate through life,” Hampton said. “Even just observing another way of life by spending time with a mentor can make a strong impact on these children.”
There is always a need for volunteers in the JUMP program, especially male volunteers or married couples willing to mentor a young boy.
“These are good kids whose parents want the best for them,” Hampton said. “They want their kids to experience new things and have a friendship with a role model who will be there for them.”
To learn volunteer or to learn more, contact Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.