What does a mentor do?
A Mentor with MentorKids KY is a caring, responsible, Christian adult volunteer who serves as a trusted friend, support, and guide to a vulnerable child in our community for a period of at least one year. He/she comes alongside the child to help them persevere through the trials of life, by building their character and offering them hope for the future.
Mentors are given five areas to focus on while mentoring their mentee:
Spiritual | Character | Academic | Relational | Life Skills
Steps to become a mentor:
- Complete the application
- Personal Interview
- Pass the background and reference checks
- Attend the training mandatory training session
Expectations Of Mentors:
- Commit to a one year mentoring relationship with a mentee, at least 4 hours monthly
- Spend time with your mentee at least once a week
- Communicate with your Mentor Coordinator monthly
- Honor all commitments made to your mentee
- Be a positive role model by demonstrating positive behavior
- Honor boundaries established by MentorKids KY with your mentee and his/her family
- Always be encouraging and supportive of your mentee
- Build a relationship with your mentee based on trust and respect
- Willingness to be coached by your Mentor Coordinator
- Demonstrate faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
- Be connected to a local body of believers
- Be eighteen years of age or older
- Have a valid license to drive and access to transportation
The following statistics reflect the benefits of mentoring for at-risk youth:
- At-risk children with a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college (2016 Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership). Also, studies have proven that having an education impacts the overall health and life expectancy of an individual (2013 State Health Assessment, Kentucky Public Health).
- Of all high school dropouts 71% come from fatherless homes (As reported by the National Principals Report on the State of High Schools).
- Teen girls are more likely to get pregnant if they have limited or no guidance from their parents. (“What Are the Causes of Teenage Pregnancy?” LIVESTRONG.COM.) According to a poll done by the Office of Adolescent Health, Kentucky ranked 7 out of 51 states including the District of Columbia (with 1 representing the highest rate) for teen pregnancy rates among females aged 15-19 in 2011.
- At-risk children who have a mentor are 46% less likely to use illegal drugs (2016 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America).
- At-risk children who have a mentor are 27% less likely to start drinking (The Mentoring Effect 2014).
- At-risk children who have a mentor are 67% more likely to participate in sports and/or extracurricular activities which translates into the child having higher self-esteem and self-confidence both of which are necessary traits for youth to be successful in life (The Mentoring Effect, 2014). “Young adults who had mentors, particularly those at-risk, are more likely to report engaging in productive and beneficial activities than youth without a mentor”.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I find time in my schedule to mentor a child?
Kids like to be with their mentors. They don’t always need to be entertained. Including them in your day-to-day activities helps them to feel a part of your life. If you’re going to do some errands, call your mentee and get some ice cream on the way home. Or just spend some time “hanging out” with your mentee…it’s a legitimate reason to have fun for an hour or so a week. Your time with your mentee may be something that you do by yourself or with your family. Consistency is the key to building a significant relationship. And remember, it’s the simple things that count.
Is it difficult to mentor someone else’s child?
You will be developing a relationship with a child, to help him or her grow emotionally, academically, and spiritually. Your relationship will become a friendship, guiding your mentee toward Christ and a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in fun, interesting activities that you and your mentee enjoy, or helping your mentee with schoolwork are just some of the things you can do to make it easy. Parents with limited resources are grateful for the support and guidance you can provide the child.
What if something comes up with my mentee that I can’t handle?
Most of our mentors are not counselors or social workers. They are just people like you, willing to become a friend. Showing your mentee that you care and being consistent are what counts! Every mentor has a trained Mentor Coordinator to help with any problems or concerns that may develop. You will keep your Mentor Coordinator informed about your meetings with your mentee, and your Mentor Coordinator will be available to problem-solve with you. You will meet other effective mentors at our activities, training sessions and support meetings. You won’t be in this alone, but will have a team of people supporting your efforts.