EDGE 21 celebrates National Mentoring Month

Friday, January 7, 2022

EDGE 21 is celebrating National Mentoring Month and is committed to bringing awareness and understanding of the value and mentoring in our youth.

January is National Mentoring Month, and this year EDGE 21 is celebrating the annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s youth with caring adults by providing these opportunities to our local community through engagement and education.

“To mentor, is to touch a life forever, it is more than an extracurricular activity,” EDGE 21 mentor Robert Smiley said.

Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, attend and engage in school, and reduce and eliminate negative behavior. In turn, these young people are:

• 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college.

• 81 percent more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activity.

• 78 percent more likely to volunteer in their community regularly.

• More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or organization.

Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor in their life.

National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested into becoming as mentor is highest. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, EDGE 21 is 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 life’s choices.

In Putnam County individuals can participate in events, volunteer and become a mentor with EDGE 21, and make a major impact in our communities. Mentoring changes lives, and EDGE 21 is committed to providing these opportunities to all local youth.

“Mentors in our community have undoubtedly impacted our local youth and their development into adulthood,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Jason Fajt, another EDGE 21 mentor, said. “Mentoring in various programs, but especially EDGE 21 has been a positive experience and has also helped me in my personal growth.”

National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR, the national unifying champion of the mentoring movement. Each year since its launch in 2002, the campaign has enjoyed their strong support of the president and U.S. Congress. Other notables over the years have included Maya Angelou, Sen. John McCain, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Gen. Colin L. Powell, Cal Ripken Jr., MENTOR co-founder Bill Russell and Usher.

In 2016, President Barack Obama’s office shared a National Mentoring Month press release highlighting the crucial role that mentors play in young people’s lives.

EDGE 21 is a multigenerational coaching program for eligible 21st Century Scholars to embolden them through middle and high school into a post-secondary education. The desired outcome is to empower each student to be self-sufficient adults and to be servant leaders in their communities.

To learn more about the role EDGE 21 plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, visit beth@edge21.org or call 812-820-9137.

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