Ask anyone what you can do to support the youth and you’ll inevitably hear the word “mentor.”
For young people, having a mentor ensures that there is somebody in their life who cares about them and can help them visualize a successful future. It has been said that all a child needs is one caring adult in order to become a success in life.
Sadly, many youths today, especially young African-Americans, lack access to positive role models and, as a result, can find it challenging to navigate the path to adulthood.
Without a vision for where you are headed, it is easy to lose your way. This is especially true today when many young people of color are faced with overwhelming challenges like poverty and poor schools. There are also the problems in the home that children of color must often face and overcome. When a child is removed from home because of parental abuse or neglect or the child’s delinquent behavior, often the best path to a successful life involves one caring adult who acts as a mentor and a guide.
Mentoring a child ranks as one of the most popular interventions we can use as a society to improve outcomes for children. The number of mentoring programs nationwide can only be estimated. More than 5,000 mentoring organizations within the United States serve more than 3 million youths to promote youth well-being and reduce risk.
Mentoring involves a relationship between two individuals based on a mutual desire for development toward career goals and objectives. To be a mentor takes a very special kind of individual and more of these kinds of people are needed in order to changes the lives of a growing number of children who would otherwise be trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of tragic events.
Children of color deserve the right to a better future and one way to ensure that is through good mentoring.