Creating better futures by mentoring

As we celebrate National Mentoring Month this January, you may wonder why mentoring is so important.

man tutoring teenA single observation from the late author and speaker, Zig Ziglar, sums it up nicely.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could,” he said.

When you look at the statistics about youth with mentors, it’s hard to dispute Ziglar’s observation.

Research shows that youth with mentors are:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.

How do mentors accomplish this? Simply by offering support and encouragement, mentors play a powerful role in providing youth with tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.

Despite this, one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.

This doesn’t have to be the case.

National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in real life.

Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real-life decisions.

To learn more about how you can become a mentor, visit or call United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline to find mentoring opportunities near you.

Jan 2, 2018 | Children, Education