January is Mentoring Awareness Month!

Have you ever thought of mentoring youth in your free time? If you haven’t, or maybe you thought about it in the past, there are many benefits that come from joining a mentoring program.

Benefits for mentors:

— Give back to your community

— Become a better leader

— Learn more about yourself

— Help someone realize their potential

— Change someone’s life

One of the most impactful ways to improve your community is investing time in the next generation. This investment can challenge your perspective, strengthen your interpersonal skills and help you uncover different problem-solving approaches. A mentor can create meaningful relationships that lead to learning more about your strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and beliefs by sharing them with someone else.

Everyone has unique talents and gifts. Tapping into a youth’s potential empowers them to improve their own life and achieve their goals. Being matched with a youth has the power to transform their life. At the end of the day you may be the only stable person having a positive impact on a youth’s life, and the ripple effect can be tremendous.

Benefits for youth:

— Increased high school graduation rates and college attendance

— Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices

— Improved behavior at home and in school

— Stronger relationships with parents, teachers and peers

— Enhanced self-esteem and confidence

— Decreased likelihood of using drugs and alcohol

Research has consistently proved mentoring has long-term positive benefits for youth. Girls with a mentor are 2.5 times more likely to be confident in their ability to be successful at school. Boys are three times less likely to suffer peer pressure and anxiety, and two times less likely to develop negative behaviors. Youth in a mentoring program are 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs and 27 percent less likely to use alcohol.

Interested in becoming a mentor?

The Mentor Connector guides over 150 youth (age 5-21) each year and serves the Rutland community. They are currently looking for matches for 22 youth on their waitlist, and individuals interested in becoming family mentors. If you think you might be interested and would like to learn more, visit mentorconnector.com or call 802-775-3434.

Would you like to give back another way? Show support for Mentoring Awareness Month by getting a team together for The Mentor Connector’s 12th annual Mentor Bowl. The event will be on Saturday, Jan. 26, featuring food, a silent auction, prizes, games, music and of course…bowling! Register online at www.mentorconnector.com or by calling 802-775-3434. Partners for Prevention will be joining the fun and would like to thank The Mentor Connector for being a valued partner.

Partners for Prevention is a community network dedicated to sustainable substance abuse prevention efforts for Rutland County youth and young adults. Stay connected by liking the Partners for Prevention on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/partnersforprevention

This week’s Health Talk was written by Alan Saltis, Regional Prevention Partnerships coordinator at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

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