January 16, 2009

Become mentors for kids who need it most

Become mentors for kids who need it most



Because January is National Mentoring Month, the mentor coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of the Three Affiliated Tribes in Parshall is reminding people everywhere that they too, can be a mentor.

Angie Elison said we can all make 2009 a great year by becoming mentors for those kids who need it most.

"You don’t have to be a certain type of person to be a mentor," Elison explains. "Mentors come in all shapes, sizes, ages, gender and races."

She said there are few requirements to be a mentor. One is to successfully pass a background check and the other is to spend at least a week working in arguably the best boys and girls club in North Dakota.

She said a lot of employers will grant one hour of paid leave time per week to perform mentor activities.

"Mentors and mentees are matched, based on interests" Elison said. "Mentors may also request either a younger or older child and mentors can be matched with more than one child. Several of them have two or three mentees."

In addition, Elison said many people are already mentors and don’t even realize it. So why not do it officially.

"Most of us have kids that spend more time at our homes than they do their own," she said. "If that is the case at your house, you are already a mentor."

Activities include tutoring, bowling, attending sporting events or just hanging out. It can be a great atmosphere and numerous local kids have grown up to become mentors.

Two examples are Emilio Rios and Justin Many Ribs. Rios is a former mentee and Boys and Girls Club Member of the Year in 2008. He was mentored by Ryan Eagle and is now a college intern at the New Town Boys and Girls Club and is, himself, a mentor.

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