GoodGuides Celebrates a Decade of Service
A decade. For a young person it’s a lifetime, for an adult it’s the blink of an eye. For Goodwill’s GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program, a decade has been both. The free program began in 2010 and has provided mentoring for 600 young people. In 2019 alone, GoodGuides mentors spent 1690 hours with local youth.
What are the most important things a mentor can have? The answer is ears. Young people want someone to listen, someone who isn’t their parent. This has been the resounding response from young people in the program. Knowing a mentor is there because they want to be is also very important. Your mentor is there because they want to be, not because they have to be.
After ten years, statistics of success are many, but stories of success show the true value of the program. In 2014 a young man named Sam joined the program. Like many young people, Sam had difficulty controlling his emotions. This led to problems at school. After just a year in the program, Sam wrote an essay about how it changed his life. But he was just getting started. He continued his journey by joining Goodwill’s Retail Project and attended Goodwill youth workshops on healthy relationship, managing stress and goal setting, just to name a few. By his junior year, he had a job, made the honor roll and had been elected vice president of his class. His journey has come full circle as he is now a GoodGuides mentor.
The commitment of a mentor is reasonable at one hour a week, but most mentors far surpass that time. Being a mentor doesn’t mean expensive activities, it just means spending time together. Goodwill GoodGuides staff provide orientation and are always available to assist mentors and provide guidance.
Youth mentoring is just one of Goodwill’s free services. Other services include an employment program, veterans’ services support program, and a 15-bedroom veterans’ home. These services exist because you donate and shop.
As GoodGuides begins its second decade, the need for mentors still exists. To find out more about the program, contact Lyndsie at 309-682-1113. ext. 2152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.