One of the many things a child needs to develop into a responsible adulthood is a caring person who can see their potential. Studies consistently show that mentoring teens really works. The reported benefits of high quality, one-on-one mentoring are that youth:
- were less likely to initiate drug and alcohol use,
- were less likely to hit someone,
- skipped fewer days of school,
- felt more competent about their ability to do well in school,
- received slightly higher grades, and
- reported more positive relationships with friends and parents.
Our staff works hard to build a trusting relationship and act as informal mentors with the youth in all of our programs by offering respect, care and concern, honesty, and positive guidance.
We offer two specific programs that offer more intensive, formal mentoring services:
The Outreach Program provides stability to youth (age 13-19) and their families through intensive mentoring services, which are tailored to meet their individual needs for as long as services are necessary, and desired. The youth meets with a trained, caring adult (paid staff) who provides mentoring on a consistent, long-term basis. The mentor becomes an advocate for the child, and helps him/her establish personal goals that will assist them in:
- improving their school performance,
- developing independent life-skills,
- improving socialization skills,
- taking responsibility for their actions, and
- building a positive self-esteem.
The Outreach Program takes referrals from schools, families, local mental health agencies, private therapists, Probation, and the Somerset County Multi-Disciplinary Team.
Lunchtime Mentor Program
The Lunchtime Mentor Program serves 6th-8th grade students in Bound Brook and Somerville that are experiencing emotional, behavioral and/or academic issues in school. Youth are referred to the program by guidance counselors and teachers.
Our staff provide one-on-one mentoring and small group activities with youth during their lunch or advisory periods, for three hours per week, to help youth to become more successful in school, build positive relationships, learn appropriate social skills, and improve their self-esteem.