The Be a Mentor Des Moines Campaign was launched in January of 2015 to increase the quality and quantity of adult mentors for the youth in our community. As the need to support youth continues to increase, the Des Moines mentoring programs recognize the importance of engaging them with positive role models. All youth mentoring programs certified through Iowa Mentoring Partnership have come together with their passion and devotion to serving youth to make the campaign a success. Our goal is to enhance the outreach and provide resources to potential mentors within the community. By working together, so much more can be done, a bigger difference can be made, and we can improve our efforts to give every child who matters someone who matters.
Our mission is to recruit and connect potential adult mentors to certified mentoring programs in central Iowa to strengthen program participation and youth outcomes.
What is Mentoring?
National Mentoring Partnership defines mentoring as a development strategy for a youth’s successful path to adulthood. In a structured mentoring program, a supportive individual works with a youth to build a relationship by offering guidance, support, and encouragement to cultivate the youth’s positive and healthy development. Often, mentoring programs are designed around specific goals, such as academic achievement, career preparation, and behavior modification. A mentor echoes the positive values and cultural heritage parents and guardians are teaching. A mentor is part of a team of caring adults.
A recent report by The Mentoring Effect, a nationally representative survey of young people ages 18-21, found that one in three young people will reach age 19 without the benefit of a mentor. Mentoring helps guarantee to a young person there is someone who cares about them. A child is not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges. Mentors provide their mentees with an experienced friend who is there to help in any number of situations including education, day-to-day living, and the workplace.
Mentoring in Iowa
According to Iowa Mentoring Partnership, 1,402 youth in Central Iowa were positively impacted by a mentor in 2014. However, 1 in 3 young people will still spend their lives in need of a mentor, yet never have the opportunity to benefit from one. Youth mentoring can help by improving young people's attitudes toward their parents, peers and teachers, and encouraging students to stay motivated and focused on their education. Mentoring provides a positive way for young people to spend free time, helping them face daily challenges, and offering opportunities to consider new career paths and acquire much-needed economic skills and knowledge.
Source: National Mentoring Partnership