Each January in the United States, we celebrate mentoring and its positive effects on our communities. Mentors hail from all walks of life, and their dedication and time should be celebrated. January is also a time for recruiting new mentors to the cause.
Mentorship works, which is why then-President George W. Bush declared January National Mentoring Month in 2002. This year, Memphis celebrates 15 years of mentoring since the declaration. In addition to the intangible effects of mentoring, the hard numbers are pretty staggering as well. Youth who have a mentor are:
- 52 percent less likely to skip school
- 46 percent less likely to use drugs
- 55 percent more likely to go to college
- 81 percent more likely to participate in extracurricular activities
- 90 percent more likely to want to become themselves in the future
- 130 percent more likely to hold a leadership position in a club or sports team
Over 9 million youth in America are in need of a mentor, including youth throughout Memphis. Mentor Memphis is our citywide program that strives to reduce crime and inspire young people by putting them on a positive trajectory.
There’s no shortage of mentoring opportunities in Memphis, each with different time and duration commitments. No matter your degree of availability, there’s a program in need of your help.
Some of the groups taking the lead in Memphis mentoring include:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South
- Girlzlife Empowering Mentoring Program
- The Giving Hour
- Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School
- Reach Memphis
- STREETS Ministries
- Veritas College Preparatory School
- Virtue Quest
- Youth Villages
- Memphis Grizzlies Team Mentor Program
Those interested in volunteering their time and talents for the betterment of the greater Memphis community can start by visiting the MentorMe website. When you sign up, the site collects some basic information and uses an advanced algorithm to match you to the perfect mentoring opportunity. MentorMe will also offer support by providing the tools you’ll need to be an outstanding mentor.
Although January is drawing to a close, the need for mentoring in Memphis won’t end when the calendar turns to February. By making a commitment to youth in Memphis, you are helping to ensure a bright future for our community at large. Visit the Mentor Memphis webpage on the City of Memphis site today to take your first step