LSS Mentors are Everyday Heroes for more than 1,200 area young people. But with hundreds of kids on the waiting list, that’s not enough for every student that needs one. Spend one hour with one student once a week and you will experience the power of mentoring! Here are ten reasons to get started this school year.
10. The Need. Just like we said above, there are hundreds of kids waiting. And we know you can’t mentor 100, but you CAN mentor one. All area schools would welcome a new mentor, but a few that are especially in need are Edison, Hawthorne, Terry Redlin, Lowell, Horace Mann, Cleveland, Memorial, Axtell Park, Oscar Howe…the list goes on.
9. Personal Growth. Almost every mentor has said they have learned something new by mentoring. Whether it is learning about Pokemon or learning about the impact of poverty, mentors say they come away a better person.
8. Teach a Child New Things. In addition to learning things for yourself, you have the opportunity to teach a child. Mentors have taught kids how to shoot a basket, how to tie their shoes, helped with reading instruction, table manners, problem solving skills, how to be a good friend, organizational skills and more. These are skills that students take with them the rest of their life, and you were there to help.
7. It is FUN! Yes, mentoring is an investment of time and heart, but it can be fun! On your way back to work, you will catch yourself giggling at something your student said or did. Mentoring can provide the perfect break in your workday too. Who doesn’t want to play kickball or just take a break to color once a week?
6. Connect with Today’s Youth. Don’t have a negative attitude about “kid’s today” if you don’t know any! Yes, they make mistakes (just like we did when we were young). Yes, they have a lot of screens and technology to occupy their time. But there are some things that have changed. Heather from LSS Childcare recently wrote that today’s kids are more inclusive than ever and love to serve.
5. Get Involved in Your Community. South Dakotans are active in giving back to their communities. The most recent data shows that 34.1% of adults in our state volunteer, ranking 9th in the nation. Comparatively, we are doing well but there are still more people who don’t volunteer than do. Many who mentor are also active volunteers in other capacities. We would love for students to see their mentors reflect the community as a whole – not just the 34% who volunteer.
4. Meet a New Friend. When students who have a mentor are asked what it’s like to be part of the program, they just say that their mentor is just an older friend. That’s all it is.
3. Help a Student Improve Their Self-Esteem. 78% of mentors saw a noticeable positive change in their students self-esteem and confidence. In other words, an overwhelming majority feel better about themselves because they know someone cares enough to mentor them.
2. Gain New Perspective. One thing we can almost guarantee is that your student is walking a different path than you did as a child. Or even one that you helped lay out for your own children. Instead of judging or feeling pity for someone who is different, use mentoring as an opportunity to learn more about their life.
1. Potential to Change A Life…A Young Persons and Your Own. Really, is there anything better?
Don’t wait! Apply today!