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Mentor Center
Photo: Mary R. Vogt
Mentoring, or sustained friendships between youth and adults, is a rich opportunity to provide support, advice and constructive examples for young people. For Christians, it’s an opportunity to share God’s love and freedom. While many friendships develop naturally over time, you may also want to consider planned mentorships.

Did You Know?

In the United States, 17.6 million kids need mentors. Of existing mentors, 96 percent would recommend mentoring to others. (Taken from Mentoring in America 2005: A Snapshot of the Current State of Mentoring.)

A Public/Private Ventures study shows that Little Brothers and Little Sisters (of the program Big Brothers Big Sisters) are:

  • 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52 percent less likely to skip school
  • 37 percent less likely to skip class
  • more confident in their school work performance
  • able to get along better with their families
Mentoring is a two-way street: No matter your age, you have unique strengths and perspectives to share with your friend. Enjoy learning from each other.

Looking For Someone To Mentor?
If you’re wondering where to start, try www.mentoring.org. This Web site offers an inclusive view of mentoring in your community, school, business or church.

What If I Would Like A Mentor?
As you look for an older person to befriend, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Reflect on what you’re looking for in a friend, then prayerfully list some possible mentors. Be open to God’s leading. He could point out someone in your family or group of friends, or He may take you to someone in your church or community.

2. Decide how you will approach the person. Depending on your relationship with him or her, you may want to send a letter or an e-mail, make a telephone call, or meet in person.

3. Ask. Explain why you are asking this particular person to be your mentor. Be prepared to be declined. Though many people are willing to be mentors, some do not have the time or the desire. Don’t give up.

4. Be patient. Friendships take work and involve some risks. Keep in mind, though, that building a relationship is well worth the effort.

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By Emily Eskildsen. Reprinted with permission from Mid-America Outlook Magazine, Vol. 28, #1, with permission from the Mid-America Union. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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