This January marks the 19th annual National Mentoring Month, a campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.
There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life. Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for young people, and that ultimately strengthens our community.
Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.
For example, in a national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also:
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in our community there are numerous young people who could benefit from having a mentor. Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make their mentees feel like someone is there to help them make the right choices in life.
Many DPC members serve as mentors for other dialysis patients at their facilities. If another patient has been a positive mentor in your life, take some time this month to thank them.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities visit nationalmentoringmonth.org.