Professional Mentoring Crafts New Endings to Children’s Life Stories

Everyone can benefit from a mentor. Some of the world’s most well-known business leaders have attributed their personal success to the guidance, support, and encouragement they received from a mentor. For a large portion of Charlotte’s youth, having a mentor could transform their life—giving them a positive outlook on their future, helping them build confidence, and instill a desire to achieve. In many cases, a relationship with a mentor can be the difference between life and death for an at-risk youth.

In this PSA, Will Jones, President and CEO of Thompson Child & Family Focus, shares insight into this high priority need that is growing right here in Mecklenburg County and he provides information about the work Thompson is doing to address it.

To learn how your company or organization can support a professional mentor through a structured program with evidence-based, proven outcomes please visit www.thompsoncff.org/friendscharlotte.

Mentoring Programs Helps Kids Believe and Achieve

Life can be pretty challenging at times, and as adults we tend to rely on friends, colleagues, or even a therapist to help us navigate the course when waters get rough. We have the resources and maturity to either seek help or work through our problems. Now imagine you’re a six year-old kid…or even a teenager…would you know how to overcome these obstacles by yourself?

What makes us human is that all of us can benefit from the  positive guidance and support from others. For kids, this kind of assistance is especially critical in the years when their self-esteem and character are in the building process.

Mentoring is the key.

In Mecklenburg County alone, almost 1 in 3 children live in a single-parent household (mainly comprised of a female head) where financial stress reigns. Couple that with a myriad of other issues struggling families face and the impact on the children becomes evident in their schoolwork, behavior, etc. Programs that work to provide structured mentoring to kids can change these scenarios and ultimate outcomes.

When a child is connected to a dedicated mentor, studies have indicated that their self-esteem and confidence grows, they learn how to set goals for themselves and establish the work ethic to achieve them. Their attitudes improve, behavior is modified, and relationships get better. Seeking healthy interactions becomes the new normal. Mentoring can do that!

Thompson Child & Family Focus recognized this at the onset and as a solutions-driven organization, Thompson worked to bring a forward thinking mentoring model to North Carolina. The Friends of the Children program is not only highly effective, but unique in that it pairs children at the highest level of risk with a professional mentor for 12 1/2 years–from elementary school through high school.

The outcomes from this program are astounding, and the youth who were once ruled a statistic are re-writing their stories by graduating from school, avoiding the juvenile judicial system, and seeking positive and healthy relationships.

While some mentoring programs are designed for kids who have experienced trauma or more difficult family situations, others are ideal for children who may be experiencing bullying in school or who simply need a role model to look up to. Or maybe a child just needs math or science tutoring after school to encourage them and ignite that spark of academic achievement.

No matter the socio-economic status, ethnicity, or gender, kids can benefit tremendously from adults who genuinely care and have a desire to inspire and shape a mind. Whether it’s Friends of the Children you child or a family member may need–or perhaps it’s the Reading Buddies program–Thompson is passionate about providing help, access, and resources to our most valuable assets…our children.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of mentoring, becoming a volunteer or have questions about our programs, visit www.Thompsoncff.org.