Happy 2014! It’s that time of year where we look forward to a fresh start or set that yearly resolution, usually involving fewer doughnuts and more vegetables! This year, why not try a new approach and make it your goal to mentor a child or young mom. January is National Mentoring Month and here at D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s we have a number of mentoring programs available. These programs include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sisters in Support which helps young moms, a program to help children who have an incarcerated parent, and mentoring children at school.
We are also excited to have been voted the 4th charity partner for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon taking place in Grand Rapids this April. Proceeds from the marathon will benefit our Sisters in Support mentoring program and I encourage the women in our community to participate.
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. Quality mentoring relationships lead to a significant increase in a young person’s prospects for leading a healthy and productive life, strengthening families and, ultimately, our community.
As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters. Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make them feel like someone who matters in another person’s life.
I thank you for your support in 2013 and look forward to a successful and fulfilling 2014. And remember, this year make a difference in a young person’s life and become a mentor!