January is National Mentoring Month and what a great time to either get involved in a mentoring program or thank someone who has mentored you over the years! Established in 2002, National Mentoring Month celebrates mentoring and the evidence-based, positive effect it can have on our youth.
At United Way for Greater Austin, our Target Graduation program connects middle school students to the mentoring services they desperately need. In the 2011-2012 school year, 350 students from three local middle schools received mentoring services as a results of UWATX funding and coordination.
Studies have shown that:
- Middle school students with at least one supportive adult in their lives are almost twice as likely to graduate high school.
- Mentored teens are 46% less likely to get into drugs, 59% get better grads and 73% raise their goals.
- Mentoring has a positive impact on the number of unexcused absences, increases students’ attitudes about school, decreases the incidences of disruption in class and increases the likelihood of being engaged in what is going on in the classroom.
Mentors can change the course of a young person’s life – they can provide support in education, in day-to-day living and even in the workplace. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, here are several local organizations that can connect you to that perfect opportunity!
- Hands On Central Texas – Connects the community to all types of volunteer opportunities, including mentorship opportunities.
- Communities in Schools – One-on-one mentoring and tutoring programs available on several campuses across AISD
- Con Mi MADRE – Mentoring with girls 6th – 12th grade and their mothers.
- AAMB/Harvest Foundation – Links successful African-American men and as mentors and partners to African-American boys to reduce the academic achievement gap
- AiM Truancy Solutions – Links students to trained, caring adult mentors who instill trust and inspire positive behavior
- Big Brothers Big Sisters – One-on-one mentoring between “Bigs” and “Littles” to promote positive role models.
- Austin Partners in Education – Small group classroom coaching and one-on-one mentoring in AISD schools
- Explore Austin – Combines the benefits of mentoring and outdoor adventure in a six-year program for 6th through 12th grade underserved youth.
- Southwest Key – One-on-one mentoring for youth, connecting them with positive adults to help them realize their full potential
- The Seedling Foundation – One-on-one mentoring for students with incarcerated parents
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin – Offer opportunities for adults to work directly with youth as mentors and tutors, and offer career guidance, internships and college preparation support.