Friendship Club Mentors comment on their experience
The most recent “Find Your Passion” Mentor Program was held from April through July of this year. In response to the question, “What has mentoring taught you about yourself?”, mentors from the program responded:
“To have patience in working with the family. How to take baby steps to help gain their trust. When its just the two of us – its easy and I’m as much of a kid at heart, love to have fun!” ~ Sandy
“Mentoring was easily as beneficial to me as it was to her. Extremely rewarding. It also caused me to set time aside for myself – to consistently do something that’s rewarding for me.” ~ Judy
The Gift of Mentoring
Positive relationship development is at the heart of our work at The Friendship Club. From learning to develop, maintain and navigate the challenges associated with those personal relationships, it’s critical to the girls growing into competent young women of the future. Whether it’s a staff member or a volunteer, spending one-on-one time with a Friendship Club girl enhances and supports her experience with us. While group meetings and outings are excellent for information sharing, team building and developmentally appropriate conversations, the one-on-one time is where those lessons can go one step further. During her time spent with a caring mentor, girls have a chance to have deeper, and individualized conversations about topics of interest or concern.
As a mentor, you play an important role in the life of a Friendship Club girl. Not only are you her mentor, you’re her friend and her advocate, encouraging her and providing her with a safe place to share her feelings and thoughts on her mind. She doesn’t have to share you with anyone else. This special feeling is subtle but important. The girls appreciate the opportunity to have a unique relationship with a trusted adult woman.
The Benefits of Mentoring
After years of observation, The Friendship Club can attest to the positives observed for the majority of our girls who commit to spending one-on-one time with a unique woman in our community in the “Find Your Passion” Mentor Program. Those benefits include:
- An expanded network of caring adults and resources available to young people
- Access to consistent support
- A propensity to stay on track in school and with other activities
- Support with decision making
- A boost in self confidence
- Support in personal development through shared advice, encouragement and modeled decision making
- Encouragement to become role models for their peers in the club (girls with mentors seem to have a higher incidence of participation in leadership activities and community service)
Furthermore, supporting The Friendship Club’s observation, research states young people with a consistent mentor are more likely to:
- Engage in community service activities, which also increases their sense of belonging to their community
- More likely to attend college or trade school
- Hold higher aspirations for their futures and educational attainment
- Report engaging in productive and beneficial activities (sports, extra-curricular activities, leadership, community service)
- Go on to serve as mentors themselves
How can you learn more and become involved?
The “Find Your Passion” Fall Mentor program will begin late September 2017 and end early January 2018. Mentor sign-ups are underway. Please contact our Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz for more information @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 265-4311