Greensboro, NC (January 6, 2023) – January is National Mentoring Month, and this year United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) is seeking community volunteers to mentor local youth through its Mentoring Matters initiative.
UWGG’s Mentoring Matters initiative works to increase the number of mentors and improve the effectiveness of mentoring programs in the greater Greensboro area. A key component of the local program includes United Way’s African American Male Initiative (AAMI), which has been offered in partnership with Communities in Schools at Wiley Elementary, Jackson Middle, and Smith High Schools for over 11 years.
Many AAMI youth who began being mentored in elementary school maintained their mentor relationships through high school, and credit the program for providing them a pathway to graduation and college. Research shows mentors play a powerful role in helping youth make responsible choices, attend and excel in school, and reduce or avoid risky behaviors.
Mentored youth are:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
- More than twice as likely to hold a leadership position in a club or sports team
Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real-life decisions.
“The mentoring relationship is powerful. And, while children and youth are resilient, the consistent presence of a mentor helps build trust and confidence. Mentors create a safe space for mentees to fail and try again. The key is to understand that both the mentor and mentee are on a journey together that will have hills and valleys. Working through them together is the reward,” said Traci McLemore, Chief Community Impact Officer, United Way of Greater Greensboro.
To learn more about UWGG’s Mentoring Matters initiative and to find volunteer opportunities, please visit www.UnitedWayGSO.org/Mentoring-Matters.