FYI’s Mentoring Program is expanding its impact this summer to help more kids during a time when they desperately and urgently need the help and attention. That’s why we are hosting a free Mentoring Program Meet and Greet on July 21 at 9 a.m.or 6 p.m. at the FYI office, 468 N. Dayton-Lakeview Rd. in New Carlisle. Food and drinks will be provided.
The purpose is to invite the community out to learn about the Mentoring Program and recruit more mentors. To register, please go to www.fyiohio.org/mentoring-program and click on “Meet & Greet Registration” or call Bryan at (937) 623-1255 if you have any questions.
FYI’s Mentoring Program is currently working at three locations this summer, but with more mentors, we could reach out to more youth. Because of these challenging times, the need for FYI mentors who can help these struggling youth by showing them truth and love has never been greater. Mentoring Program Co-Director Bryan Moore explained why filling this need is so important to our youth and the community’s future.
“A child’s setting is critical to their mental, physical, and emotional development,” he said. “Having a Summer Program allows us to provide a setting that is positive, nurturing, and helps prevent children from being exposed to at-risk behavior. The Summer Program also allows the child to be instilled with tools to help them make good decisions on their own, when normally during the school time they have teachers and counselors available to help them make good decisions. Our program can step in and add an additional element to making sure the kids have access to resources to help them get through situations that lead to at-risk behavior.”
Springfield City Schools’ School of Innovation (SOI) has committed to a Summer Program, but starting times, dates, and sessions are still being finalized.
We are also currently meeting at the ARK (inside the Children’s Resource Center in Springfield) on Tuesday evenings with opportunities to add more days and times.
“Right now, we are getting more kids than mentors, and that is a good and bad thing. The need is great!” Bryan said. “(The ARK) welcomed us with open arms and has given us plenty of flexibility to schedule sessions this summer.”
We are also fine-tuning the logistics at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) to meet with kids during their summer program, but it hasn’t begun yet. We will still continue to meet with the residents at the JDC all year long, as we have the past two years.
Whether at the JDC, ARK, SOI or in local public schools during the normal school year, the focus is inserting a caring adult into a child’s life who they can trust will help guide and lead them down a positive path. We offer many mentor/mentee training sessions and evidence-based activities to deal with social and emotional issues that often lead to mental health issues and at-risk behavior.
The ultimate goal of this push into the summer months is as straightforward as it is focused and effective.
“We will show kids that someone cares about them, that they have value, that they can be leaders,” he said. “We want the kids to get used to having a mentor so we can follow them back to their schools in the fall.”
How have kids responded to them so far?
“They want to come back,” said Bryan. “They always ask us to stay longer or come back sooner. They enjoy the games, activities and discussions.”
Mentoring Co-Director Julie Driskill, whose family runs a summer camp, has already noticed a greater hunger for help.
“Doing church camp for 24 years, we could see right away that it is different; they really needed to interact,” she said. “The kids were more open and participated more. And I think parents are looking for things to get their kids back out.”
Julie cited an example of the help the Mentoring Program can give.
“We helped get a girl into On The Rise (a nonprofit “relationships through farming” ministry in Clark County) that we’ve been working with,” she said. “There were a couple of key conversations and then we helped her follow up.”
If you can’t make the mentoring open house but are still interested in helping our Mentoring Program, or any FYI program, give us a call at (937) 845-0403.