The concept of mentoring is age-old. At one time in our nation’s history it was expected that a son or daughter would be tutored and trained in the necessary skills to survive and prosper in life. Over the decades we have seen the erosion of many family structures often leaving young people to figure out life on their own – often with destructive results.
Our mission is to match quality adult mentors with at-risk youth in the community. “At-risk” means that statistically these young people are more susceptible to alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, and delinquent behavior. These boys and girls ages 6-17 are matched with responsible, caring adults who are committed to sustaining a consistent partnership for at least one year. This close relationship promotes positive change by allowing the youth to see first-hand an alternative way of living that leads to a quality life.
One on One’s philosophy of prevention and early intervention is an inexpensive alternative to tax-supported treatment programs. Just $1500 will support a child in One on One for a full years, compared to $250,000 per year for residential drug/alcohol treatment and $70,000 per year for incarceration.
One on One is different from other mentorship programs. One on One accepts only young people who have been referred by recognized community agencies such as the juvenile justice system, social services, and schools. On occasion and by exception a referral comes to us through a parent or guardian. These are among the neediest youths in the community, facing a formidable combination of risk factors. A relationship with a healthy adult may be a key element in redirecting their lives.
Once a “match” is made, the mentor makes a commitment to spend as regularly as possible at least three hours each week with the mentee. The mentor visits his or her mentee’s home, school and referring agency to become better acquainted with the mentee. In addition to their three hours per week together, the mentor and mentee attend group activities sponsored by One on One Mentoring.
The mentoring match is at the core of the One on One program. We are committed to recruiting, training, and sustaining willing, committed, responsible adults who care about making a difference in the life of one boy or girl. Both parties benefit greatly from this unique and dynamic relationship – and so does the community.