Youth Mentoring Program
Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) is seeking mentors for their new mentor program, which was recently developed and partnered with the Worcester County Board of Education. Its mission is to promote the power of mentors to transform young lives, to develop and play a vital role serving 6th graders through high school seniors. January is National Mentor Month, which has been awarded a proclamation by the Worcester County Commissioners starting in January 2018.
The program is funded by the Worcester County Local Management Board through Worcester County’s Initiative to Preserve Families (WCIPF) and is designed to identify students with warning signs of disengagement from school, such as truancy, low grades or behavioral issues. The Board will communicate with WYFCS to assist in recognizing youth participants suitable for the new initiative. Ultimately, this program empowers the mentee to reach for their goals, improve academic performance and social outcomes, with higher graduation rates. Studies demonstrate youth mentoring programs are effective in improving school attendance, performance, social skills, graduation rates, and greater employment opportunity and success.
WYFCS is currently seeking applicants for volunteer mentors interested in serving the community through mentor-based leadership. The objective is to recruit, train and assign volunteer mentors interested in helping youth attain greater opportunities for success in life. Possible preferred candidates include young professionals, business leaders, school teachers, social workers, nurses, police, veterans, retirees, faith-based community, civic groups, philanthropic individuals and groups; government officials.
Volunteer mentor candidates are not required to hold any special or advanced degrees in education or social services and are only asked to be supportive of the children enrolled in the program. Mentors will be interviewed, receive a background check and participate in approximately 3 hours of training from WYFCS prior to being matched with a student. They are asked to commit to the program for at least one year after assignment and will have the opportunity to meet face to face with their mentee at least twice per month. Additional monthly meetings will include group sessions designed to focus on specific challenges and to learn about helpful mentoring tools or resources for the students to be successful in school. Mentors will also receive ongoing support from the program coordinator and will be asked to maintain communication with the child’s parents or guardians regarding their progress.
Worcester Connects will have the first Mentor Interest meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 6:00-7:00 pm, in The Ray, located at 124 N. Main Street Berlin, Md. From 6:00-7:00 pm.
If you are interested in mentoring, applications can be found on the WYFCS web-site, www.gowoyo.org, under the volunteer tab.