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What is a Mentor

A mentor is a trusted adult friend with a long-term commitment to provide friendship, guidance and support to a youth. Through positive mentoring relationships, the youth will often overcome the difficulties they face and become successful, productive adults.

At Kinship of the Park Rapids Area we match volunteer adult partners with a child who shares common interests. They are encouraged to spend time together each week doing activities they both enjoy. Some mentors meet with their youth at the same time each week, while others prefer a more flexible schedule. Being a reliable friend the child can count on is a cornerstone of mentoring.

Mentors can be individuals, couples or families. We offer mentor screening, training and ongoing support throughout the partnership. Volunteering only a few hours a month can change a young person’s life.

Studies have shown that most children and youth will experience at least some of the following benefits if they are engaged in a long-term, positive mentoring relationship:

  • Improved school attendance and performance
  • Increased likelihood of going to college
  • Less likely to start using drugs or alcohol
  • Less likely to get into trouble with the law
  • Improved relationships and communication with parents
  • Increased over-all sense of self-worth

The benefits of mentoring go both ways. Mentors report that their mentoring experience improves their lives in meaningful ways:

  • Mentors often feel better about themselves for playing an important role in a young person’s life
  • Mentors learn about themselves in how they relate with others
  • Mentors experience an increased sense of responsibility and accomplishment
  • Mentoring fosters better relationships with others
  • Mentors enjoy having fun and feeling younger

A “Volunteer Mentor Position Description” document is available here.

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