Mentoring a young person has many benefits, both for the mentor and the mentee. Mentors can become leaders within their community and help their mentees develop the life skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives.
A recent study1 found that at-risk youths that had a mentor were:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90% more interested in becoming a mentor
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
At-risk youths with a mentor were also 46% less likely to use illegal drugs than their peers who did not have a mentor and were 81% more likely to join an after-school sport or extracurricular activity.
To guide the next generation of leaders, join these seven mentorship programs in New York City that help young people improve their leadership skills, find healthy hobbies, and advance their education.
7 Mentorship Programs in NYC That Help Young People Become Leaders
Coro New York Leadership Center
Coro New York is focused exclusively on NYC – providing leadership programs, as well as education on the specific public policies and issues affecting residents of New York. Participants learn to develop innovative solutions to public policy issues and to communicate and engage with the community at large to garner support and create positive change.
Coro has developed a Theory of Change, that lays the foundation for a society that understands and responds to the needs of all citizens, taking diverse perspectives into account when instituting policies that affect the community.
New Leaders Council
The New Leaders Council (NLC) focuses on building a new generation of progressive thought leaders, providing practical guidance to maximize the potential of Millennials to significantly change society for the better.
NLC provides future leaders with a six-month intensive training program and a lifetime alumni commitment, focused on the long-term transformation of the policies and institutions that affect communities on the local, state, and national level.
Girls Write Now
Girls Write Now matches high school girls with professional female writers, who collaborate every week to brainstorm, edit, and build a portfolio of work that the girls can use to find the power of their voices and drive their educational and professional ambitions.
Girls Write Now participants are from a diverse and mostly underserved community, with 90% participation from girls of color, 70% immigrant or first-generation, 25% LGBT / non-conforming, and 90% classified as high-need. The girls in these categories are often overlooked by individuals and institutions that can help them to succeed, and break the cycle of poverty and suppression.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
One of the best-known NYC mentoring programs since 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs more than 5,000 mentors with underserved young people in the city every year. According to the BBBS website, the ‘Littles’ in the program show an increase in self-esteem, high-school graduation rates, and a decrease in risky behaviors.
The one-on-one mentoring program requires a minimum 1-year commitment from the ‘Bigs,’ with many relationships lasting a lifetime. BBBS also offers a variety of training programs, including a Mentoring Supervisor Certificate Program (in conjunction with Fordham University), as well as customized organizational training and professional development workshops.
The LGBT Center provides a safe space for the LGBTQ community of NYC, offering a range of services aimed at improving the quality of life for its members. Founded in 1983 to assist a community in crisis during the AIDS epidemic, The Center offers community space in a coffee shop and cyber center; as well as the National Archive of LGBT historical documents, photographs, and records. The Center also provides programs, counseling, and support for the health, family, career, and advocacy concerns of the community.
The Lower Eastside Girls Club
The Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC) provides a safe space, with mentoring and educational programs for girls aged 8-23 residing on the LES. The club’s mission is to nurture girls and help them become leaders, with mentoring programs focused on arts, science, social justice, and wellness. Mentors and volunteers can help to improve the lives of girls by donating their time and skills to programs focused on improving STEM education, or supporting the girls’ aspirations in design and media, entrepreneurship, health and wellness, and civic engagement.
A Call to Men
A Call to Men works with male leaders in a variety of fields to examine toxic masculinity, to make changes to the institutionalized and individual thought processes that influence gender bias, and to reduce instances of violence against women, sexual assault, and harassment. A Call to Men offers a series of educational and bonding events to provide the foundation for healthy manhood and uplift the community as a result.
To make your life, and improve the lives of those around you in a significant and lasting way, consider becoming a mentor. NYC offers a variety of opportunities for adults to use their skills and experience to improve the lives of young people in their community.
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