Mentoring can make big impact

There is a Buddhist Proverb that says, “If you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your own path.”

This thought rings particularly true when considering the great mutual benefits of a mentoring relationship.

There are many opportunities to contribute to the lives of Clark County’s young people through mentoring.

One such program is at Baker Intermediate School, where administrators are looking for volunteers to commit at least 30 minutes a week (between 10:45 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.) to come to the school, read to students and help with homework or school projects.

The program’s major goal is to improve literacy, but mentors can work with students — in groups of three or four — on other subjects as well. The school is looking for at least 10 more volunteers to add to their current pool. Of course, the more volunteer mentors that are available, the more students get to benefit from the program.

Mentoring has many benefits for youth involved. Research has shown mentoring contributes to increased high school graduation rates, healthier lifestyle choices, better attitudes about school, higher college enrollment and post-secondary aspirations, enhances self-esteem and decreases likelihood of drug and alcohol use.

For mentors, there are also benefits, including improved self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, creating a network of volunteers, better understanding of children, adolescents and young adults; improved patience and supervisory skills, among other.

Perhaps the greatest benefit, though, is contributing to raising a productive new generation of workers and leaders.

Whether you volunteer at Baker, or maybe through Partners in Education, at your church or even as a coach of a youth athletics team, there are many opportunities to have a positive impact on the next generation and feel better about yourself in the process.

Be the mentor you wish you had growing up.