By Hanna Chen
The presence of a mentor in an adolescent’s life could be the seemingly small detail that determines an individual’s outcome. Mentors provide guidance by directing their pupil towards emotional, academic and work stability through previously vacant support.
According to statistics gathered by MENTOR, a national organization dedicated to ever-expanding efforts to link volunteers to their communities by providing “quality youth mentoring relationships,” and stating “in the United States one in three young people do not have access to a mentor of any kind.”
The statistic draws from a mentorship textbook definition, which strictly indicates a trusted adviser. Without any form of guidance during the crucial years in which experiences shape one’s growth and development, the process could easily turn towards an unsound path.
Existing youth serving organizations acknowledge the importance of the Youth Mentoring Grant, “the only federal grant dedicated to providing investment in quality youth mentoring,” by sending letters of support to the United States House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Among those in support of continued funding from the Youth Mentoring Grant, law enforcement officials have stated their approval of mentorship programs because of the rebuilt trust and interaction the programs propagate between mentored youth and law enforcement organizations.
A substantial population of over 60 U.S. Representatives have already signed a letter supporting the Youth Mentoring Grant. In the following weeks, U.S. Senators will be signing their support as well.