Nearly one in five youth live in poverty and are at risk of falling prey to crime, drugs and other hurdles that could keep them from reaching productive adulthood, obtaining an education and successfully entering the workforce. Research also shows that youth are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring adult.
In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve, the YMCA of Western North Carolina has begun offering the Reach and Rise Mentoring Program. The national YMCA program, supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), connects youth ages 6 to 17 with adult mentors for 12-18 months.
As part of the Y’s commitment to nurturing the potential of youth, the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s Reach and Rise Mentoring Program will engage at-risk youth who lack role models and are in communities challenged by poverty, crime, truancy and single-parent households, among other social issues. Through this program, the Y will recruit and train adult volunteer mentors to provide direct one-to-one mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities.
“YMCA of Western North Carolina is excited to begin offering the Reach and Rise Mentoring Program, which will benefit many of our youth, inspiring them to reach their full potential,” said Paul Vest, President and CEO. “Through this program, more youth in Buncombe County will develop relationships with caring mentors, families and schools leading to higher achievement and a brighter future.”
Founded in 1992 and led by the YMCA of San Francisco, the Reach and Rise Mentoring Program was recently piloted at five additional YMCA associations. As part of a national expansion, the YMCA of Western North Carolina is one of 38 Y’s now offering the program.
To learn more, contact YMCA of Western North Carolina at (828) 210-2265 or visit http://www.ymcawnc.org.