January is National Mentoring Month, and this year the City of Longview Partners in Prevention is celebrating the annual campaign with a number of events including a celebration with the City of Longview and hosting a New Mentor Orientation.
Partners in Prevention Mentoring Program has provided professionally supported mentoring for 23 years and is aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults. “Forever Friends” matches women with girls in middle school through high school. “Co-Pilots” are adult male volunteers who are matched with boys in 1st grade through high school. Both programs currently serve students in the Longview, Pine Tree, Spring Hill, Kilgore and Hallsville school districts, meeting weekly during the child’s lunch period.
Research shows that mentors matched through a quality mentoring program play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to strive and thrive, to attend and engage in school, and to reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities. In turn, these young people are: 55% more likely to be enrolled in college; 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities; 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities; and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
“We have over 200 mentors volunteering in our program annually. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful, positive effects on young people. We have many young people in East Texas facing challenges and in need of extra adult support. Mentors are needed!” said program director, Lyndell McAllister.
The mission of the Partners in Prevention Mentoring program is to inspire and encourage young men and women for leadership through positive relationships. This cannot be accomplished without the dedication of caring volunteers. There will be a New Mentor Orientation held on Jan. 31 from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. with a light lunch provided. Call 903-237-1019 to sign up or to receive more information about the program.
The public is also invited to attend a ‘Celebration of Mentoring’ to be held in the City Council Chambers on Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m. Here they will highlight the significance of mentoring in our community and acknowledge the contributions of mentoring volunteers and staff of the Partners in Prevention Mentoring Program.