Reasons Your Teen Should Have a Mentor
January is National Mentoring Month. Mentors are incredibly important to teenagers, and as a result, we felt that it would be a fantastic opportunity to provide our readers with some of the information provided by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the lead agency of the National Mentoring Month:
In real life, who do you turn to? Nine million kids in America are growing up without an answer to this question. This means 1 in 3 young people feel isolated from meaningful connections with adults outside their homes. Teens make everyday choices that lead up to life’s big decisions without enough guidance and support – the kind most of us count on. Every child should have someone to turn to.
Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects. Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved – and influences outcomes at home, at school, and in their communities. Having a mentor empowers young people to make smart choices that put them on a path to making better life decisions. Studies show that a mentor who encourages smart daily behaviors—finishing homework, having healthy social interactions, saying no when it counts—has a noticeable influence on a young person’s growth and success. By sharing their own life experiences with youth, mentors provide students with a clear vision of what their future could look like.
Students who have mentors are much more likely to stay in school, have better school attendance, avoid alcohol and drugs, enroll in college, hold a leadership position in a club or sports team, participate regularly in extracurricular activities, and volunteer regularly in their community. Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social, and economic prospects. In a survey of young people who had mentors, 90% said they are now interested in becoming mentors themselves. Mentoring relationships serve as critical links in the chain of outcomes for our nation’s youth that ultimately produces more active citizens and stronger leaders, better schools, and healthier communities.
If your teen does not have a mentor in their life, you should consider trying to find one, as it could have a very positive impact on their life and provide your teen with support to make positive decisions. You can find mentoring programs near you by visiting the MENTOR website at: www.mentoring.org.