LOCAL NEWS

Mentors willing to make a differenc

For the next several weeks, the Journal Review will bring its readers stories of children in the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program who are awaiting a mentor. All names and some situational details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the child. Every child mentioned is part of a growing waiting list of children who wish and need a mentor. If you believe mentoring is for you, call Jill Hampton or email her at 362-0694, ext. 12 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mentors come from all walks of life. The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program has a diverse selection of mentors. Some mentors are retired, some are young professionals, some are married with young children and some are empty-nesters. The main requirement for someone wishing to mentor is willingness to be a difference in a child’s life. 

The process to becoming a mentor includes a written application, three character references, a sit-down interview with program staff, an FBI and local criminal history background check, a driving records check and a volunteer training which teaches you how to be an effective mentor. After the mentor finishes with the process, he or she is matched with a youth who has similar interests. The program asks that the mentor meets with the child at least nine hours a month for a year. Several matches choose to meet past that year mark. 

Being a mentor is simple, and it can help change the course of a youth’s life significantly, said Program Manager Jill Hampton. 

One of the youth waiting for a mentor is Paul. Paul is an 8-year-old boy who lives in a single-parent home. He loves being outdoors, swimming, fishing, camping, as well as doing art and craft projects.

Paul is an outgoing child who is interested in pretty much everything. He enjoys playing the drums and collecting rocks and crystals. Paul’s parent reports that he is funny and active, and he does well in school, has great attendance and doesn’t get into trouble. His parent said Paul needs a mentor because the other parent is not involved in his life and Paul is in need of a positive, male role-model. Paul wants a mentor because it would be someone to do fun things with.

“After interviewing Paul, I felt that he was very easy to talk to, with a great personality,” Hampton said. “His interests are so varied that I feel he would be a compatible mentee for any potential mentor.” 

If you believe mentoring Paul is something you would like to do, contact Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 12. She can tell you the next steps you need to take. 

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau is a MUFFY Partner Agency.