Wednesday, February 21, 2018

For the kids

Changing the world, one kid at a time

In For the kids

Bryan Partee

By Bryan Partee
Feb. 1, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.
Updated Feb. 1, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

By Brandy Hogan, Unit Director, Hallsville Unit

Per Kennelly and Monrad 2007, students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37 % less likely to skip a class.

If I’m not mistaken, isn’t this the results we want from our youth?  Don’t we want our youth to stay in school to gain their education? Are you thinking about our future? Your future? Your kids or grandchildren’s future?  What footprint do you want to leave?  How about a foot print on the life of youth who will grow up to do great things, all because someone, like you, took a chance and became a mentor.

According to Thurlow, Sinclair & Johnson, 2002 study, young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.  In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintained better attitudes toward school. 

Again, better school attendance, better grades, better attitude and focused on future is what we want from our youth.  So, per this study (and proven in day to day lives) becoming a mentor can help a child to become a responsible, caring citizen?  Hmm, this sounds familiar.  Oh, that’s right, this is the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines mission.    

Youth who met with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking.  A study done by public/private ventures of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Name 3 small activities for youth…. Ummm, yeah, slim to none.  Without a mentor, what do you think these kids are going to do when they get bored and have no one to guide them in the right path?  These kids, need someone like you, to guide them through these tough adolescent years.  In small towns, where the norm seems to be pasture parties or snap chatting about what their friend is or is not wearing, doesn’t it make sense to help these kids by volunteering at your local Boys & Girls Clubs?

Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not.

Can someone tell me what the obesity rate is for 2016?  State of Obesity rates and trends among adults now exceeds 35% in four states, 30% in 25 states and are above 20% in all states. Eighty percent of American adults do not meet the national activity recommendations for aerobic and muscle strengthening.  Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of PREVENTABLE chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the US.  The cost of not enough mentors, helping our nation’s youth stay fit and seeing the importance of healthy lifestyles is, $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year!!!

I can share story after story of all the successes from the youth at the club and their mentors working together, having fun, learning, engaging, building interpersonal relationships and team building skills. 

One story sticks out about a college kid wanting a job at the club.  This kid shared the same vision as the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Pines and he knew these kids needed a mentor.  These kids needed someone to come hang out with every day and laugh with.  He didn’t know the importance he would make in the lives of these kids. There was this kid, not much on working out, more of a sit down and chill kind of kid. (EXERCISE-HA) Never!!   If I told you this kid was in a fitness competition and he was playing football and running with excitement, most people would not believe me.  But he was and he would push himself just because his mentor encouraged him daily.  I love college kids for this reason.  (Not to say the rest of us oldies don’t have the stamina) but the energy this college kid brought and the heart and compassion he has for our nation’s youth is unbelievable!  This young man knows our youth need to be mentored, daily.  HE is making a difference in the lives of our future leaders and will be remembered. What will you be remembered for?  

Several kids have the most awesome parents/guardians in the world…that work shifts and full time jobs that don’t end until 6 or later.  These parents want people with good values and morals, teaching their kids all the programs the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines offers.  And let me tell you these kids want someone to guide them, they may not realize it, oh, but they do.  They need someone like you

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines is a nonprofit organization that offers after school and summer club programming, year round.  Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.  We are looking for staff, volunteers and mentors to help the next generation of youth to BE GREAT!! Great Futures start here, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines. 



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