“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late”. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mentoring is a movement that started back in the late 19th century with successful, friendly individuals visiting the children in poor communities and acting as role models. In 1904, Earnest K. Coulter founded Big Brothers, the first mentoring movement to reach out to children in need for guidance and to provide positive adult role models. Eventually this program became known as, “Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.” For more than 100 years, Big Brothers/Big Sisters taught us to believe that “inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life,” and today Big Brothers/Big Sisters is the largest mentoring program in the world.
A mentor is a person who provides support, encouragement, inspiration, and helps redirect the focus of a young person to what is in young person’s interest. Mentoring not only helps to enhance self confidence in today’s youth, it also gives them a sense of belonging. National research has shown that positive relationships between children and their mentors have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. Statistics have shown children are more confident in their schoolwork performance, are able to get along better with their families, are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, and are 27% less likely to begin using alcohol and 52% less likely to skip school as a result of mentoring .1
Mentoring is a great way to give hope and positive outlook on life to children who need it most, including those growing up in poverty, single parent homes, and coping with parental incarceration. Simply playing catch, reading a book or providing advice and support can make a huge different in a child’s life. Unfortunately, kids today choose superstars, gangs, and rappers as their role models, but you can change that by teaching them about the real role models–those you were taught to look up to: the great leaders, the peace makers, the inventors and the environmentalists.
It doesn’t take a gold American Express to give a child time, attention, love and guidance we urge you to join a mentoring program today to make a difference in a child’s life.
Lawyers to the Rescue Offers mentoring programs for high school students interested in perusing a career in the legal field. If you are interested in participating in Lawyers to the Rescue Mentoring Program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures