In 2009 the senate of the United States signed a resolution designating January as National Mentoring Month.
The resolution brings to the forefront mentoring and the crucial role that mentors play in helping young people realize there potential.
There are more than 4,700 mentoring programs across the United States. About 3 million young people are in mentoring programs, but there remains a serious gap, with nearly 15 million young people in need of mentoring.
Locally, the Dawson County Mentoring Program serves more than 100 students yearly, but it too has a serious gap. The local program has many students on its waiting list; more than six boys and girls at the elementary school level alone.
The Dawson County Mentoring Program is a non-profit organization, run by a full time director, and governed by a board of 13.
The program is funded through public and private grants and personal donations. Its mission is to develop positive and caring relationships between mentors and selected students’ to enhance the students self image, teach personal responsibility and improve life choices so that the youth will be empowered to grow personally, academically and to become respected citizens of their communities.
The ideology of successful mentoring is the concept of a mentor and student meeting during the school day to help a student who is disconnected to bond with school and to develop the understanding that school is their safety and support net; that education is their opportunity for advancement.
The local mentoring program works with students second through 12th grade in the Dawson County public school system. The students in the program need extra support, due to a variety of reasons.
Students are referred to the program by teachers, counselors and parents.
Mentors meet with students during the school year for one hour a week. Mentoring areas are provided at each school and are stocked with various games and crafts to partake in.
For more information, contact Bindy Auvermann, executive director at (706) 265-1981 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.