Mentors can help youngsters succeed in life
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:00 AM
We've supported organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Lide White Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc. and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for the mentoring they offer our young people.
There's another good program in Indiana that needs more adult mentors.
The 21st Century Scholars is designed to help low-income, at-risk children get a college education so they can break the cycle of poverty. That's easier said than done.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education said only about 1 in 10 of the 21st Century Scholars participants graduate on time, and only 3 in 10 earn a degree at all.
The program provides money for college, but there are other stresses. Those students need someone to guide them during these unfamiliar experiences.
A student who is the first member of the family to go to college doesn't have the support of parental wisdom based on prior experience at school.
Nor does the student necessarily understand what is required and expected of college students.
"These students often need help understanding the level of work that's needed in a post-secondary environment, the deadlines and the exams and the forms and what office to go to at what time related to registration and paying your bills," said Indiana Youth President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz in a video about the Indiana College Success Mentoring program.
Stanczykiewicz said the institute expects mentors to help students with things like study skills, time management, adjusting to life on campus, financial literacy and accessing campus resources.
The mentoring program begins working with students while they're high school juniors to prepare them for this transition.
Organizations that work with young people can provide details of mentoring opportunities they offer.
If you're able, and appropriately suited to the job, consider becoming a 21st Century mentor. Call your local school district for information on how to join a mentoring program.