A real-world reminder of the need for mentoring at-risk students

There are dozens of statistics that speak to the difference that mentoring can make in the life of an at-risk student…

  • Students who meet regularly with mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school…
  • At-risk youth with mentors are 20% more likely to want to go to college than youth that don’t…
  • Every dollar invested in quality youth mentoring programs yields a $3 return in benefits to society…

But the one thing these statistics fail to do is provide a face to the numbers. It’s easy to forget the impact that mentoring can make in the lives of individual students when we simply focus on the numbers. Making a difference can seem impossible when we think about the thousands of students around the world who don’t have anyone to invest in them.

A real-world reminder of the need for mentoring at-risk students

A few weeks ago, we received a note from a T1L1 mentor in Vancouver that reminded us of the real-world impact mentoring can have and the incredible need there is for it in schools today:

Hello CLI Staff,

In September 2013 two mentor teams started a T1L1 pilot program at our elementary school in Vancouver, WA. and I just received a note informing us that the grade we were working with has seen an 80% reduction in referrals to the counselor and/or principals office!

When I went into the office last week I asked the secretary about one particular incident that happened last Fall involving a student bringing a gun to a nearby middle school. A young man went to school with 400 rounds of ammunition and kitchen knives with intent to harm himself and others that morning. His mother notified the school and the problem was averted after the school went into lockdown and the young man’s stash of ammunition, knives, and the gun were confiscated.

I found out last week that the young man was in the same class last year that we are mentoring in this year! The school secretary mentioned to me that it would have been nice to have the mentors last year when he was there.

My heart sunk at that point, knowing that the young man will have a long road ahead of him. He is only 11 years old. Thank you for your prayers and support as the mentor teams continue to develop leaders of integrity this year!

While we chose not to share the specific names to protect the reputation of our mentors, we believe this story is a powerful reminder of the need for mentoring…

For our T1L1 mentors, we hope this serves as an important reminder of the difference you make in the lives of your students week in and week out.

For teachers and school administrators, we hope this story opens your eyes to the impact mentoring can make in the lives of the at-risk students in your school.

For community leaders, we hope this challenges you to either consider investing in some sort of at-risk mentoring program in your community or consider investing in the lives of at-risk teens.

What are some individual stories that you have about the value of mentoring at-risk students in the community?

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