January is National Mentor Month, and January 17th is designated as International Mentoring Day. Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor are: 55% more likely to enroll in college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth.
Many say that the rewards they gain as a mentor are as substantial as those for their mentees. Mentoring has enabled them to: have fun, learn more about themselves, feel they are making a difference, gain a better understanding of other cultures, develop a greater appreciation for diversity, feel more productive, have a better attitude at work and enhance their relationships with their own children. Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and to be changed by their relationship for the better.
If you are ready to make a difference in the life of a young person and grow yourself, consider one of the mentoring opportunities in our community listed below.
United Way of Yellowstone County Success Mentors build relationships with students at their school and help them develop goal setting and problem solving skills to achieve the student’s academic and school attendance goals. Success mentors meet with their mentee 1 day a week during the lunch hour for the duration of the school year. For more information contact Amity Malberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County is focused on providing children facing adversity with one-on-one relationships. They partner with parent/guardians and volunteers and hold themselves accountable for each child achieving potential, greater confidence, and better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors, and educational success. Bigs and Littles spend 4 to 8 hours a month together doing things they both enjoy. There is no cost for participating. Bigs, Parents, and Littles must participate in monthly check-ins with BBBS staff. They serve children ages 5 to 15. http://www.bbbsyc.org/
Yellowstone Strengths Academy offers specialized instruction designed by a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and professionals from the community for students ages 16-23. This concentrated curriculum is coupled with strategies, motivational techniques, mentorships and practical experience to help student workers gain stronger insights into their natural talents while sharpening their communication, interpersonal and professional skills. Training courses are structured to cover four key elements for successful transition into the workplace and continued growth and development: Managing Self, Strengths-Based Approach for Growth & Development, Communication, Technology & Skill Development and Customer Service. https://yellowstonestrengthsacademy.com/
The Billings Leadership Network is a mentoring program focused on connecting pairs of first- and second-year Rocky Mountain College students with a member of the Billings Chamber’s NextGen young professional group and an experienced Community Leader Volunteer. The primary purpose is to assist students as they develop connections within the community, explore local careers, and take advantage of the diverse opportunities Billings has to offer. This program allows student and community leaders to further engage within the community, enhance knowledge of business and charitable organizations in the region, and provide meaningful mentoring relationships for professional development.
The Billings Community Foundation, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain College Community Council, NextGEN and Community Volunteers, invites current 1st and 2nd year students to work with distinguished members of the Billings community through this exciting mentorship program. For more information on how to be a Community Leader Volunteer mentor or student participant, please contact Lauren Wright, Executive Director of the Billings Community Foundation at email@example.com or call 406-839-3334. www.billingsleadershipnetwork.org