Youth Villages is looking for adults of all ages in the area to serve as mentors to children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues and children who have been abused or neglected and are receiving help on the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville.
“We need caring adults who are willing to spend a few hours a month with a child in residential treatment who needs an adult role model and someone who is just there to talk to and listen,” said Katrina Word in a press release, mentor and volunteer coordinator at the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus.
The Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus helps children ages 6 through 17 who have emotional behavioral or mental health issues, or have been abused or neglected and need professional help. Mentors provide a positive outlet for children in residential treatment who may not have visitors or get to go for off-campus outings without a mentor.
Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus mentors commit to spending at least four hours a month with a child on campus or to take the child for off-campus outings to the zoo, a restaurant, a movie, a trip to the mall, a museum, play putt-putt or other activities.
“Being a mentor is about allowing a child to have new experiences he or she otherwise wouldn’t have,” Word said. “It’s about being there, being a friend and showing a child who may feel alone that there is someone who cares – someone the child can look up to.”
To become a mentor, potential mentors must be at least 21 years of age, complete a mentor application available at www.youthvillages.org, pass a criminal background check, attend a mentor orientation and commit to spending at least four hours a month with a child. Mentors are matched with children based on mutual interests.
“It’s very rewarding to be a mentor,” Word said. “I am a mentor myself and love the experience. There’s something very special about seeing a child’s eyes light up when he or she sees you, and you can tell you just made his or her day–or even week. These children look forward to seeing their mentors so much!”
Word encourages people of all ages and walks of life to become mentors, though she is especially encouraging men to become mentors to boys who lack male role models.
“We have a lot of boys who need mentors, but we really lack men who want to mentor children,” Word said. “We currently have a need for mentors for multiple children. Ideally, we would like for half of them to be male.”
To learn more about becoming a mentor, call Word at 770-852-6328 or send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Villages, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and their families live successfully, is one of the largest private providers of services to children and families in Georgia.
Youth Villages has a long history of helping children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues, providing residential treatment at the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville since 1962.
From its Atlanta office, Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services program helps troubled children and their families where they need help most–in their own homes and communities. Youth Villages’ Atlanta-based transitional living program provides guidance and support to former foster youth who lack family and other support to help them make a successful transition into independent adulthood.
Every year, Youth Villages helps more than 800 children and their families in Georgia. Youth Villages’ focus on strengthening families consistently produces an 80-percent success rate of children living successfully at home two years after completing a Youth Villages program.
Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For in 2010 and 2011, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information, go to www.youthvillages.org.