My guests this week are Berly Tillman Sullivan the Executive Director of Mentor Kids KY & Maria Shyver, Mentor Coordinator. January is National Mentoring Month, and this year MentorKids Ky is celebrating 13 years as a Christian Mentoring Agency. MentorKids exist to love at-risk youth from single parent and/or nontraditional households. They are able to do this by providing the child with an adult Christian Mentor to come alongside and help them persevere through the trials of life, by building their character and offering them hope for the future.

Mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like alcohol and drug use.  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.
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
  • Yet, the same research shows that 9 million young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.  Today, in our community there are 7,000 single parent households with children who could benefit from having a mentor.

MentorKids is in desperate need of Mentors, specifically male mentors. They intend to use this month to not only recruit more mentors, but to celebrate and show their appreciation to the Mentors currently volunteering in our program.

National Mentoring Month each January allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor.  This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in making a real life impact.  Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real life decisions.

Important dates for this public awareness campaign that activate on social media include:

–         January 12, 2017: “I Am a Mentor Day,” a day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.

–         January 16, 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, a day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr. and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.

–         January 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day, a day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.

–         January 19, 2017: “Thank Your Mentor Day,” a day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #MentorIRL.

For more information on how you can become a Mentor or help Mentorkids KY go to http://www.mentorkidsky.org/

Theresa Rowe is the Founder of Shaped by Faith, Author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, 10 Secrets to Strengthening Your Body and Soul, a Motivational Wellness Speaker, Health Coach and Host of Shaped by Faith Radio every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am on 99.1 FM and 1490 AM WOMI. Listen: http://womiowensboro.com/listen-live/popup/