The youth, it is said that they are the hope of the new generation. But what happens if at an early age they fall victim and/or exposed to a society that is plagued by racial discrimination, use of illegal drugs, pornography that led to rape and unwanted pregnancies, robberies, gang wars in schools that cause death by shootouts, and to many to mention and indeed very depressing. This is the society that youth today see everyday. It is a reality and a sad fact that we must accept as part of our daily lives. What can we do to lessen the effects of the ills of society to our youth? Saving at-risk youth by mentoring may just be the answer, it may not eradicate the problem at once, but it is a start.
Mentoring our children does make a huge difference. It is a way to reintroduce a positive regular activity by a grown-up to a child. Children who are mentored while growing up are unlikely to succumb to using illegal drugs, unlikely to start depending on alcohol, and unlikely to miss out school. If we incorporate mentoring in our home, school and even the church it can, and it will help greatly in decreasing the cause and effect of suspension due to the use of illegal drugs, crimes related to drugs, babies born who are drug affected and possibly more. It is just a matter of how we really want to help eradicate the problems of our youth.
At-risk children badly need the guidance and friendship that youth mentors give. A child will definitely yearn for adult support when faced with parent’s divorce, family heartbreaks, and financial troubles. These children need mentoring with their family problems, school works, peer pressures or just someone who would listen and give an unwavering support.
Regrettably, teachers in school who teach at a crowded classroom will have no time to provide individual attention. Guidance counselors are very busy too, because they deal with the whole population of the school. Most of the time guidance counselors can only give less than four hours of career guidance to a student in their four years in high school (that is just like one hour a year!). There are millions of at-risk young children who desperately need mentoring. Nowadays, communities are seriously looking into setting-up programs for volunteer youth mentors, because they see and understand that need to help these children cope up with their daily lives.
At-risk children who are guided by an efficient role model mentor are more than likely to have a progressive educational performance, self-esteem, good decision-making traits, and a sense of fitting in. Youth who enters mentoring programs will be inclined to have good interactions with their teachers, parents and other siblings as well as their peers. They will also be more inspired to focus on their studies and eventually finish their schooling.
A youth mentor assists at-risk children in setting up their goals and ambitions, resolve their personal problems, and make appropriate decisions and choices in life. However, youth mentors are not there to replace what a parent can give to their children. Youth mentors are simply there to give help and be role models for at-risk children. Simple and easy activities like doing school assignments and projects, going to parks and museums, engaging in some sports and playing games, and doing art and crafts projects is enough for a child who is more that eager to be guided and to feel a sense of security that they are protected from the evils that lurk in the dark. In the end saving at-risk youth by mentoring will have a great impact in the society we live in for years to come.