January is National Mentoring Month, and Partners in Prevention’s Aspire Mentoring Program (AMP) is celebrating!
The public is invited to attend a “Celebration of Mentoring” to be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, 300 W. Cotton St., on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 a.m. The City of Longview Mentoring Advisory Council is hosting the event, which will highlight the significance of mentoring in our community and acknowledge the contributions of AMP volunteers. Crystal Bowley, a graduate of the program, will be the featured speaker.
“Mentoring is an important component of positive youth development,” said Stephanie Adams, Aspire Mentoring Program Administrator. “A mentor empowers their mentee to become the best version of themselves through a supportive, consistent relationship.”
The Aspire Mentoring Program, formerly known as Forever Friends and Co-Pilots, has been serving students for 26 years. Currently, the mentoring program is available in the Longview, Pine Tree, Spring Hill, Hallsville, Kilgore, and White Oak Independent School Districts. AMP provides youth, kindergarten through twelfth-grade, with a caring, trained, adult friend to serve as a mentor to a young person needing guidance, support and encouragement.
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and avoid risky behavior like drug use. In turn, these young people are:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities
- 78% more likely to volunteer in their communities
Currently, 1 in 3 young people in America are growing up without a mentor outside their family. While AMP has over 200 mentors volunteering in its program annually, there remain many young people in East Texas facing challenges and in need of extra adult support.
“Mentors are needed!” said Adams. “Mentoring is a very strategic way to multiply support for youth within our community, and we look forward to establishing more mentoring relationships this year in every school district we serve.”
Caring adults interested in becoming mentors are encouraged to attend a New Mentor Orientation on Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (lunch provided). Please call 903-237-1019 to sign up or to receive more information about becoming a mentor.