Where would you be without a mentor? Or better yet, where would you be with one? According to the homepage of Mentoring.org, youth who have a mentor are 55 percent more likely to go to college, 78 percent more likely to volunteer, 90 percent more likely to become a mentor themselves, and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions! That’s a lot of awesome statistics, however here’s one that’s not as uplifting: Only one in three children will grow up with a mentor.
Girls Inc. understands that mentoring relationships are essential to both the mentor and mentored, so we included them as one of the six essential elements of our Girls Inc. experiences. This means we provide volunteers and staff with the qualities of trusting mentoring relationships to help girls in our programs succeed! Throughout our programs, Girls Inc. is especially aware of the impact of positive messages received by younger girls from their mentors, so they are specifically trained to approach program material and questions with a grounded belief in girls’ rights and abilities.
Leading a program for Girls Inc. has shown mentors that although they are the ones teaching girls important life lessons, the girls are also teaching their leaders about their world, and what they feel is important in life. “As a mentor, leading girls is really interesting because not only am I allowed to address the challenges that they face and how to overcome these challenges, I get to take a look at the youth of today and better understand their world and hopefully impact their future.” (Indianapolis Mentor, 2017)
Here’s what happens in a mentoring relationship:
• Volunteers work with groups of girls to better prepare them for life
• There are two volunteers for every group of girls to maintain a low girl to staff ratio
• Girls ask their volunteers questions or open up discussions
• Girls look up to the volunteers
• Girls and volunteers are excited to spend time with each other
• Girls and volunteers avoid engaging in negative talk about themselves and others
Would you like to volunteer and make a difference in a girl’s life? Sign up here!