Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Message from Tim Blaylock, Chief Professional Officer: Get involved with kids!

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on February 13, 2013

This year, I’d like to encourage everyone to pledge to become a volunteer coach, artist, reader, tutor or mentor!

We all win when young people succeed in school. Research proves that caring volunteers working with students of all ages have the power to help kids boost academic achievement and put young people on track for a bright future.

Change will not happen without you! If not you, then WHO?

The Value of Mentoring

At its most basic level, mentoring guarantees a young person that there is someone who cares about them, that they’re not alone in dealing with day-to-day worries.

Think back. Did you know how to study for a test or make plans for college? Who coached you when you looked for your first part-time job? Some teens don’t have people close to them who can help, and things that may seem simple to you now may be a complete mystery to a young person.

Mentors are like an experienced friend, who’s there to help.

Support for education
• Mentors help keep students in school.
• Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class.
• Mentors help with homework and can improve their mentees’ academic skills.

Support with day-to-day living
• Mentors help improve a young person’s self-esteem.
• Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).
• About 40% of a teenager’s waking hours are spent without companionship or supervision. Mentors provide teens with a valuable place to spend free time.
• Mentors teach young people how to relate well to all kinds of people and help them strengthen communication skills.

Youth between 9 and 15 are at important turning points in their lives. It is during this time that they may permanently turn off from serious engagement in school life and turn to a variety of risky behaviors that can limit their chances of reaching productive adulthood.

Mentoring helps them stay on the right track. Research show that for youth of this age, preventative intervention is most successful. At this age, youth are most capable of envisioning a positive future, and are able to plot the necessary steps to reach their goals. They are at the right stage of development to best absorb and benefit from the skills of a strong mentor.

Become a Mentor!

Few bonds in life are more influential than those between a young person and an adult.

To thoroughly understand the role of mentoring, look at a role you are already familiar with. Most of us have had a supervisor, a boss or coach who has made a positive difference in our lives. These people wore many hats. They acted as delegators, role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates and friends. As a mentor you will wear these same hats.

Mentors understand the need to assume a number of different roles during the course of a mentoring relationship, but successful mentors also share the same basic qualities:
• A sincere desire to be involved with a young person
• Respect for young people
• Active listener
• Empathy
• See solutions and opportunities
• Be flexible and open

For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme volunteering/ mentoring opportunities please connect with Jaime Zendejas at 805-815-4959 x 214 or Jzendejas@bgcop.org

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