By Bonnie Floro
As we prepare our homes for colder weather and our hearts for the upcoming seasons of being thankful and giving gifts, why not consider a gift that will last beyond just one season? A gift of your time for a child in need.
The Youth Mentoring program at Children’s Aid Society is in need volunteers. Right now 12 boys and seven girls ages 7-17 are waiting to be matched with a caring mentor. These children are located throughout Clearfield County with the highest number in DuBois and Clearfield.
Youth Mentoring provides local youth with relationships with caring adult mentors that change their lives for the better. We began our mentoring program in 1985 first as Partners With Youth and later as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clearfield County. This fall, we decided to end our affiliation with the national program and changed our name to Youth Mentoring.
In the community-based program, adult volunteers are matched with youth throughout Clearfield County to provide friendship, support and fun activities.
In school-based mentoring, high school volunteers pair with elementary students at Wasson Elementary in DuBois in a weekly after-school program.
According to the federal government Web site Youth.Gov, the supportive, healthy relationships formed between mentors and mentees contribute to a host of benefits for youth including:
- Lower high school dropout rates
- Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
- Better attitude about school
- Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improved behavior, both at home and at school
- Stronger relationships with parents, teachers and peers
- Improved interpersonal skills
- Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use
For the safety of our children, volunteers must complete a thorough screening process that includes multiple background checks, interviews and references. Our staff will walk you through the process and maintain a close relationship to ensure the match is going well.
In addition to one-to-one activities, we provide regular group outings should you choose to participate.
Youth Mentoring relies heavily on supporters who volunteer their time and also on those who participate in our fundraisers or donate throughout the year.
We charge no fees for the program. Upcoming fundraisers include our annual bowling event, tentatively scheduled for April 13 in Clearfield and the hugely successful sporting clay event, Shoot For the Magic, slated for June 14 at Warriors Mark Wingshooting Lodge in Ginter. Mark those dates and get your teams ready early for these events!
Children’s Aid Society is a member agency of both Clearfield and DuBois Area United Ways.
If you are ready to make the difference in the life of a child or just need some more information, contact us by phone 814-765-2687, ext. 209, email us at email@example.com or visit us online at www.childaid.org.