Y Expands Mentoring Program for Kids and Teens

  • By on 12/14/2016 | Comments (2)

    Nearly one in five youth live in poverty[1] and are at risk of falling prey to crime, drugs and other hurdles that could keep them from reaching productive adulthood, obtaining an education and successfully entering the workforce. Also, research shows that youth are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring adult.

    In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve, the Kokomo Family YMCA will offer the new group model of the Reach & Rise® Group Mentoring Program. The national YMCA program, supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), connects adult co-mentors with groups of youth ages 8 to 15 for periods of 8-16 weeks.

    In 2013, the Kokomo Family YMCA became the sole Y in the state of Indiana authorized to offer this groundbreaking program. Since the launch of our one-to-one mentoring model, the Y has seen life change in dozens of teens and has successfully trained and matched 85 mentors with mentees.

    Through an expansion of the YMCA of the USA’s partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Reach & Rise model, which has served Howard County youths in one-on-one interactions, will now branch out into an additional direction.

    “Following the success of our one-to-one YMCA of Kokomo is excited to begin offering the Reach & Rise Group Mentoring Program, which will benefit many of our youth, inspiring them to reach their full potential,” said Ikeia Prince, senior program director, Kokomo Family YMCA. “Through this program, more youth in Howard County will develop relationships with caring mentors, families and schools leading to higher achievement and a brighter future.”

    As part of the Y’s commitment to nurturing the potential of youth, the YMCA of Kokomo’s Reach & Rise Mentoring Program will engage at-risk youth who lack role models and are in communities challenged by poverty, crime, truancy and single-parent households, among other social issues. Through this program, the Y will recruit and train adult volunteer mentors to co-lead group mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities.

    The Reach & Rise Mentoring Program was founded in 1992 and led by the YMCA of San Francisco. As part of national expansion, the YMCA of Kokomo is one of 38 Ys now offering the group program, in addition to the 38 Ys offering one-to-one mentorship programs.

    To learn more, contact Matt Daleo, Group Mentoring Director at matt.daleo@kokomoymca.org.

    [1] Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014. Accessed September 7, 2016. http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-252.html

    • Rick Hollering Commented:

      Matt, I am the Executive Director of Youth Services in Logansport. Would like to meet with you about your mentoring program.

    • Francoise Turner Commented:

      I am interested in your mentoring program I have two boys age 14 and 9 and both have lost there fathers my oldest Jacob I feel would benefit and I’ve been trying to find programs for him. My name is Francoise I would like more info and see how they could get into the program so he can be around adult male figure who can show him some guidance. Thank you

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