Why Have a Mentor?
Research shows that having positive and ongoing support from several caring adults other than family members contributes to a child's healthy development. At Project Friendship, we believe that every child can benefit from having a mentor.
Mentoring increases the mentee's self-confidence and self-esteem during a crucial developmental period in their life. Mentors help their mentees realize their full potential.
Having a mentor has been shown to improve a mentee's attitude about school, improving their grades and behavior in the classroom. Additionally, mentees have higher educational aspirations and higher college enrollment rates.
Having a mentor is fun! Mentors and little buddies play sports, learn new skills, and develop a bond that is unique to their relationship. The friendship between a mentor and their little buddy is truly special!
Mentors help guide mentees towards the best path ahead. Children who have mentors are less likely to use drugs and alcohol and have better relationships with their peers, teachers, and parents.
Your Child and Project Friendship
Each relationship between a mentor and a mentee is unique. The particular ways that your own child may benefit from the mentoring relationship will depend on their needs, strengths, and many other factors. Sometimes the benefits of mentoring are not visible right away, but over time this friendship can help your child gain new skills and experiences that will last a lifetime.
“The Project Friendship program has been a true blessing not only for my son Chris, but to our family as a whole. Alex has been meeting with Chris for over a year now and the bond they share is something very special. Chris meets with Alex on a weekly basis and every Wednesday he wakes up and I hear “Yes! It’s Wednesday, I get to go see Alex today!”
Alex is such a well-rounded mentor for Chris and a great role-model for him to look up to. Their time shared goes well beyond playing catch, going to the gym, and eating ice cream together. I have since heard Chris express his desire to go to St. Olaf “like Alex does”. At the age of seven he is talking about going to college and setting long-term goals for himself!
Project Friendship really is a special program and I look forward to the relationship that Chris will continue to build with Alex in the years to come.”
- The Mother of a Mentee
Any child could benefit from extra friendship and support from a caring adult. They may be from families who face the stress of single parenting or job insecurity, having just moved or new to the community, or those who have difficulties with their peers in school. They need more positive experiences and often a college friend can make the "hard times" seem a little easier. As the supportive friendship evolves, the child may share thoughts and concerns with a trusted listener, and enjoy experiences that enhance their self-esteem. All while having fun along the way.