January is National Mentor Month so now is a great time to learn about the CONNECT Mentor Program and why it matters! The CONNECT Mentor Program is aimed at pairing adults who spent time in foster care or who were adopted with teens adopted through our older child adoption program, Project Wait No Longer. The goal is for our teens to build strong relationships within their communities with mentors who can relate to their experiences.
1. You Have a Unique Experience. Not everyone who has a passion for mentoring has spent time in foster care or has been adopted. Any adult with these experiences knows how unique and special those experiences are, and the ability for adopted youth to connect with adults in their communities who know what they're going through is important. Metors also all have special talents and expertise in a wide variety of subjects. Why not share that with a youth who is ready and willing to learn from you!
2. The Statistics Don't Lie. Youth with mentors are:
3. It'll Get You Out of Your Routine. A new year means new goals! If you have always wanted to have a positive impact on your community and have a passion for adopted youth, this may just be the answer for you! Why go to all the same restaurants or re-watch that same Netflix show when you could be exploring a cool museum or throwing the ball around with your mentee? The opportunity to meet more people, explore your community, and try new things is a great one for mentees and mentors alike!
4. It'll Make You a Happier Person. Studies have shown that volunteering to help others releases dopamine, otherwise known as the "happy chemical" in the brain. Mentors often report feeling an increase in sense of purpose, reduction of stress levels, and a general increase in health. Not only is mentoring good for mentees and the community, it's good for you too!
5. The Need is Great! In our program alone, we have placed over 100 youth from foster care with adoptive families. Currently, we have four mentors and several potential mentees who are just waiting to be matched. We need amazing adults who are willing to share their experiences and time with youth who want to make meaningful connections within their communities. If you are willing to put in time, there are always youth who need you!