We know that kids who are mentored are less likely to use drugs, alcohol, skip school, hit someone or lie to their parents. And they develop crucial social skills and confidence, which help them stay on track to graduate high school.
Kids are often connected with mentors when participating in high-quality out-of-school (OST) programs, such as the YMCA.
Benjamin is a mentor with the YMCA and when he first met Blaze, a high school student, he recognized Blaze needed a friend, role model and listening ear and began mentoring him on a regular basis.
With the help of Benjamin’s friendship, Blaze has expanded his social skills and started to develop healthy relationships with peers. And in the classroom, he is selecting books with higher reading difficulty. The improvement of his grades across all subjects reflects the strong work ethic they are building together.
Participating in physical education classes was once a source of ridicule for Blaze. Engaging others and having success in the Y’s OST environment have helped Blaze gain the confidence to work out and challenge other young adults to a game of one-on-one in the Y gym!
Thanks to Blaze’s mentor and OST program, he is now making good choices that are affecting his path to success in life, keeping him on track to graduate high school!
Like Benjamin, you too can help other kids stay focused and engaged at a critical time. Join us in changing the odds for kids and families in our community and volunteer to read, tutor or mentor a child!