According to a recent report called “The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring,” more than one in three young people never had an adult mentor of any kind (structured or naturally occurring) while growing up.
That’s an estimated 16 million kids.
The report also says that mentoring relationships have been proven to have powerful effects in personal, academic, and professional areas of young people’s lives.
Jonathan Frost, our Executive Director at Youth For Christ Houston, has been working with juvenile detention facilities in the Houston area to help develop ongoing mentoring relationships for young people, many of whom are one of those 16 million kids who’ve never had an adult mentor in their lives.
“At YFC Houston, we’ve seen the difference that mentoring makes with the teens in our programs,” Jonathan said. “We’ve had kids make leaps and strides in school and in their home life. We are making a difference; we don’t just hope for success. We expect it.”
Jonathan says YFC Houston’s mentoring strategy with teens currently makes strides in non-recidivism, improved grades, and better behavior. The YFC Houston team is also working to begin partnerships with businesses to create a network where the teens can be introduced to various genres of business.
“We will try to arrange that the kids participate in a shadowing experience or an internship, or maybe even a first job,” Jonathan added. “If we can find those business leaders who have a heart for kids who are coming out of facilities, it is amazing for everyone involved. These teens just need someone to walk alongside them; they have such potential – they just haven’t experienced the opportunity yet. We are always looking for those kinds of partners around the community.”
To learn more about ministry in Houston, go to yfchouston.org.