January is National Mentoring Month, and a time when many volunteers choose to give their time to help young people in need of guidance. Besides the immediate benefits of being a role model, there is often a positive long-term impact. Here are some specific advantages associated with mentoring a young person.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between a mentor spending time with a youth and better performance at school. According to Children Uniting Nations, “59% of mentored teens get better grades.” They are also less likely to skip school and tend to have a better attitude toward school in general. This can be especially beneficial for at risk youth who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The time a mentor puts in can have a profound effect on a young person’s life for years to come. It can also increase the likelihood that they will attend college and pursue a higher education.
Lower Risk of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
One problem that plagues many teenagers is getting caught up in the negative cycle of drug and alcohol abuse. It’s an age where peer pressure can takes its toll and young people begin to experiment with harmful substances. However, with the positive influence of a mentor, the odds of a young person going down this path are reduced considerably. In fact, studies have shown that “53% of students credit mentors with improving their ability to avoid drugs, and 27% of mentored youth are less likely to begin using alcohol.”
Overall Improved Behavior
When a person is at a vulnerable age, they may end up getting caught up in the wrong crowd or making poor decisions. Without a solid role model to intervene, these patterns can persist and lead to even more problems down the road. Fortunately, mentoring can go a long way in improving a young person’s behavior because they are provided with support and learn the skills to cope with life’s challenges. There is also a trend of mentees becoming more confident in themselves so that they don’t give in to peer pressure and are more likely to maintain positive relationships.
Even though the time spent mentoring is minimal, it can have a major impact on a mentee’s life. That’s why participating in National Mentor Month is a great decision to make.