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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Mentors Make a Difference

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If you are trying to find a way to give back to the community. Please consider being a mentor. Many of us may remember our own mentors - a team coach, neighbor, boss, teacher, minister, or relative - who we trusted to provide us with guidance, encouragement, and skills to help us succeed. A mentor is an adult who helps us become competent by providing an example, listening and bringing out the best in our character.

Mentoring is based on the belief that all children have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all children get the support they need to thrive. Research tells us that nearly half of the population of young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years old do not have a caring adult mentor to encourage and support them. Without caring adults, these youth could make choices and decisions that could undermine their futures, but in the long run, undermine the well-being of our whole nation.

Mentors can help:
  • improve attitudes about peers, parents, and teachers;
  • encourage students be motivated and focused on school;
  • provide positive activities for free time;
  • help youth face daily challenges; and
  • provide exposure to possible careers.
Mentoring programs can provide the link, but they need volunteers. Is community service part of your new years resolution? If you want to learn more, check out Mentor.

Photo credit: lulugal0870
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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