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Study after study has shown the benefits of mentoring for both mentors and mentees.
Fifty-nine percent of teens who are mentored get better grades and 53 percent credit mentors with improving their ability to avoid drugs. Twenty-seven percent of mentored youth are less likely to start using alcohol and 52 percent less likely to skip school.
In general, mentoring helps enhance the social and emotional development of young people.
For mentors, too, there are benefits. Those who mentor someone often learn a lot about themselves, enhance their skills and resumes and develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in helping to positively impact another person’s life.
That is why some of the programs offered here in Sheridan, while informal, do so much to motivate and inspire kids.
The Sheridan Troopers held their annual camp last week, this week the Sheridan College men’s basketball team welcomed youth into their gym and the Lady Generals will do the same next week. The two camps already held saw more than 150 kids participate.
These athletes, though in a very informal way, are helping to inspire and teach the youth of our community. Beyond the skills of their game, the young adults are teaching their even younger peers the importance of teamwork, communication and hard work.
As adults, there are so many ways to get involved in postively impacting the lives of our community’s children.
Outside of the confines of our schools, adults can take on roles as a coach for a sports team, as a leader in the local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, as a leader in a youth ministry, by participating in your local 4-H or in one of the many other organized activities for youngsters in Sheridan.
Mentoring does not only apply to our youngest children either. Even helping a teenager or recent college graduate navigate their first job can make an incredible impact. As a local employer, offering internships and guidance to young professionals also gives youth a head start.
A study published recently by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that “compared to previous generations, recent high school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things, but less likely to say they’re willing to work hard to earn them.”
Mentorship can be about closing the gap between wanting and working — instilling a strong work ethic and diminishing the impacts of materialism.
Young adults and children are our future and Sheridan has an abundance of opportunities to get involved and help them move our community forward.