Excerpted from Every Monday Matters by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
March 22, 2010
Children are just as capable of doing great things as any other person, but many times they are not equipped with the right foundation, knowledge, encouragement, and tools to make the right choices. The decisions they make can change the entire course of their future. You may not know what to say or do, but you will quickly realize that what matters most to them is that you care. When one teaches, two learn.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Find a mentoring program near you and apply to become a mentor.
Most mentoring programs will pair you with a child based on your skill set and the child's needs.
If you have your own children or know children who could use a mentor, be a self-starter and create your own mentoring program.
Once a week, spend an hour or two with your mentee doing everyday activities like homework, playing sports, and having simple conversation.
Set goals with your mentee and share in the excitement of their achievement and growth.
3 million children are currently enrolled in a mentoring program.
15 million youth are in need of mentoring. If they don't get it, they're more likely to not reach adulthood successfully. These youth are:
73% more likely to begin using alcohol
63% more likely to skip a class
54% more likely to begin using illegal drugs
48% more likely to skip school
Mentors help children develop self-confidence, relationship skills, and a positive attitude toward school.
Nearly 70% of inner city 4th-graders are unable to read at a basic level.
1 out of 3 public high-school students won't graduate.
1 in 5 teens seriously considers suicide annually, approximately 1 million attempt suicide, and between 1,000 and 2,000 of these attempts are fatal.
Printed from Oprah.com on Saturday, December 7, 2013