January is National Youth Mentoring Month. I’ve been fortunate to have a number of mentors in my life including family, teachers, friends and colleagues who have all helped me advance in my career, overcome challenges, or provided another perspective on something I may have been struggling with. In addition to being a mentee, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a mentor to assist young professionals who are interested in a career in government relations.
Goodwill Industries® has a long history of fostering relationships through mentoring. By pairing volunteers with youth to help build their career plans and skills through the GoodGuides® youth mentoring program or by supporting Goodwill staff who serve as mentors in their community – as a network we understand the importance of paying it forward. Local Goodwill organizations collectively served nearly 250,000 youth age 16 – 24 in 2017.
Research shows that young adults who were at-risk but had a mentor are:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90% are interested in becoming a mentor
- 140% more likely to hold leadership positions.
Mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.
We advocate for continued funding for national youth mentoring programs and policies that impact youth employment and job training, including apprenticeships. Follow GII on twitter @GoodwillCapHill and register for the GII Legislative Action Center to stay informed and take action when we have alerts up focused on youth issues, and be sure to take a moment and thank those mentors in your life and consider how you can be a mentor to others in your community.