Are You a Mentor Candidate…
- the ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance, and encouragement to a young person
- a genuine desire to be involved and help youth;
- respect for youth and their cultures and backgrounds
- empathy and authenticity
- compatible personalities, interests, and expectations
- prior experience in helping roles or occupations
- flexibility and openness; and
the ability to see solutions and opportunities and help youth to see them as well
Roles of Mentors
The roles of mentors vary greatly depending on the type, focus, structure, and participants. Mentors’ roles may also differ over the course of the relationship. These roles may include acting as
- a role model,
- a supporter or cheerleader,
- a policy enforcer,
- an advocate, and/or
- a friend.
Focus of Mentoring Relationship
While all mentoring relationships aim to improve outcomes for youth, the objective of the Walton County School District A.L.L.Y. (Area Locals Leading Youth) Mentoring Program is to improve the well-being of the student/Mentee by providing a role model/Mentor that can support the student academically, socially and/or personally.
A.L.L.Y. Mentors provide a wider window to the world and help youth gain perspective; access to opportunities and new learning beyond their immediate neighborhoods. Their abilities and life experiences are great assets to a young person seeking an important, healthy, positive connection. A.L.L.Y. Mentors encourage and celebrate successful outcomes. While naturally engaged in fun and/or interesting activities they impart encouraging words and applaud important esteem-building events which serve youth well during the one-on-one time and well-beyond. Mentoring has steadily been shown to help strengthen the life of a child at home, in school, and in the community.
Walton County School District A.L.L.Y. (Area Locals Leading Youth)Mentoring Program will be hosted at all district schools. Mentor meetings typically are during the school day or after school hours and can include a variety of activities including tutoring, career exploration, life skill development, sports, games and/or attending cultural events or other forms of entertainment.
School operation hours will be provided during the Mentor training session.
Benefits Of Mentoring
Benefits for youth:
- Increased high school graduation rates
- Lower high school dropout rates
- Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
- Better attitude about school
- Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Improved behavior, both at home and at school
- Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
- Improved interpersonal skills
Benefits for mentors:
- Increased self-esteem
- A sense of accomplishment
- Creation of networks of volunteers
- Insight into childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood
- Increased patience and improved supervisory skills (U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.)
How Do I Become a Mentor?
A.L.L.Y. Mentors are screened, trained, and selectively matched with children. Compatibility, complementary personalities, and proximity are all considered. A.L.L.Y. Mentors are professionally supported throughout. The goal is for them to help youth gain esteem, confidence, and coping skills that will encourage healthy choices and inspire the realization of goals and dreams. Research shows that a key difference between a youth who makes it in the world as they age up and one who does not, is their connection to a stable, caring person.
Such a simple concept as spending quality time with a child has profound and lasting effects. Walton County School District simply wants to provide more deserved children the chance to know this level of success. There are many opportunities available for the chance to open up a student’s world. The wave of need never subsides. Mentors are needed for both girls and boys.
If you have an interest in stepping in and stepping up to mentor a child, complete the mentor application below.
If you are a Walton County School District employee who would like to mentor a student, complete the application below.
If you have questions, contact Lori Hughes at 850-892-1100 ext. 1443 or by email at: HughesL@walton.k12.fl.us .