Opinion: Mentorship program

POSTED: 08/29/14 2:29 AM

Dear Editor,

I see the need for mentoring our young people, call it a Big Brother/Sister program if you like – the investment of an adult’s time, resources, energy, in the life of young people. I call it living life with an impressionable pre-teen, teenager, where they can see and learn the important values of life up-close and personal. Spending an afternoon a week with them, taking them with you as you, for example, go to the supermarket. The valuable lessons of budgeting, using a shopping list, comparing products and prices, and living within your means will be sown in their lives. Just driving with them in your car will teach them all about obeying traffic rules, having respect for other road users, being courteous, not littering (more than one of my “mentees” can attest to the fact that I have stopped the car and had them go pick up whatever they threw out the window! Pride of country).

This kind of involvement is especially helpful for the many single parents in our community. A program like this, of course, needs to have safeguards in it to protect our youth from possible predators. Such a program often proves to be mutually beneficial for those involved. The adult gets to “rejuvenate” a bit and enjoy the simple things of life again from a youngster’s perspective, lots of laughter, and not to mention the satisfaction of having a good influence on a needy young person’s life. Now multiply these experiences by a thousand “Big Brothers/Sisters/Aunts/Uncles/Grandmas/Grandpas”, you name it, and at least a thousand young people will be positively affected. More, if people take two or more under their care for two or three hours a week. Our country would be different, in many ways. I have a couple other ideas that have been tried and proven by yours truly, because of the grace of God poured into my life, and then passed on to others.

Joyce Varlack

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