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The importance of mentoring deserves to be recognized, which is why at the Community Foundation we have been celebrating National Mentor Month all January long! Throughout the month, we have collected stories from mentors and mentees at different programs in Reno and have listed their unique and fun stories on the Meet a Mentor section of our Nevada Mentors site. Mentoring empowers youth and changes lives, which is why it is so important to share these stories and encourage adults to mentor. Anyone can be a mentor as long as they are caring and committed.

When Hannah, a mentor from the program Right Turn Face Forward, was asked why she wanted to become a mentor she responded, “I felt I had life experiences in my youth that would allow me to connect with a mentee on a real level. My best life is one of service, and if I can show up for at least one young person in a meaningful and helpful way, I know I’m making a difference and living up to that best life.” If you feel similarly and are interested in becoming a mentor, or know someone who may be, visit www.NevadaMentors.org. Here you will learn about local programs with mentoring opportunities, stories from current mentors, and find other resources for mentoring.

Having a caring, positive adult figure in a youth’s life is often taken for granted, but 1 in 3 youth do not have a positive adult role model.  A caring adult can play a significant role in their future success. According to the National Mentoring Partnership, young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor were: 55% more likely to enroll in college, 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

Mentoring is a way to give youth a better tomorrow. As President Obama explained in his presidential proclamation for National Mentoring Month, “Nobody succeeds on their own: each young person’s strength and resilience is fostered by those who have taught them they can do anything they put their mind to.”  Consider becoming a mentor and changing a life.

NevadaMentors.com is a product of the Youth Network Initiative (You’N-I)  aimed at addressing the needs of homeless and at-risk youth in our community. Through the initiative process, it became apparent how critical it is for young people to have a mentor and that our community is lacking mentors. Nevadamentors.org was created to recruit more mentors in our community and connect as many individuals to programs as possible.

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