Mentoring Offers New Experiences for Volunteers and Youth

Posted: September 24, 2019

Mentors are needed to spend time with youth in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties. There are 22 youth waiting for a mentor through Youth Mentoring at Helping Services. Mentoring is simple! Mentors are a friend to a youth. They spend a minimum of four hours per month with their youth who are ages 6-16. Mentors that are spending time with youth in the community can be individuals, couples, or families.

School-based mentors that are college-age and older are also needed to meet with a student one hour per week at John Cline School in Decorah. A school-based mentor recently shared, “My mentee and I were shooting baskets outside and he wasn’t having luck making a basket. I showed him how to throw the ball underhanded and as the ball sunk, he leapt with excitement sharing it was the first basket he had EVER made!”

Youth Mentoring at Helping Services for Youth & Families offers group events for their program participants on a regular basis. Recent events have included going to a play, a family picnic, and visiting the Children’s Museum of La Crosse. Group events are great opportunities to offer new experiences to youth. In the last fiscal year, 96% of youth participants agreed that their mentoring experience provides them with new information and new things to do. Some mentees have never been to a high school football game, never been to the Whippy Dip, never ate a meal at Pizza Ranch, or experienced things that many of us take for granted.

Upcoming events include going to Effigy Mounds, doing community service projects, eating a fancy meal together, go-karting, and visiting a farm. Volunteers are needed to spend time with youth at these events. These volunteers are called Mentors For A Day. They notify program staff when they are available to volunteer and find that it is a great way to be involved with mentoring.

For more information on how to become involved in this rewarding experience, contact Kathy or Colinne at 563-387-1720 or visit www.helpingservices.org/mentoring.

Serving families since 1973, Helping Services for Youth & Families is dedicated to responding to current health and safety needs of youth and families through empowerment, support, and education.