Recently, the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota conducted a study surveying 74 mentoring programs in MN. They found that despite the nearly 200,000 youth being mentored in the state, there are 250,000 more who are in need an adult mentor. According to the study*, the most common reason for youth to be on a mentoring program waiting list is due to the lack of mentors available. Additionally, twice as many women step forward to mentor as men. Therefore 29% of male youth wait a year or more before being matched with a mentor, compared to only 5 percent of female youth.
Kids 'n Kinship's own numbers also reflect this need for more men in mentoring. Currently approximately 60% of our 76 matches have female mentees and 65% of our 43 children on the waiting list are male. There could be a variety of factors in these statistics, including perhaps a higher rate of boys being referred to mentoring programs due to more mothers getting custody and a lack of male role models. It could also be that mentoring programs appeal more to women than men, despite attempts to engage men in the process of helping to support the next generation.
Consider becoming a friend to a youth in need. All it takes is a willingness to step up and try. Just be present with a child. You don't have to be a perfect man or woman to be a role model and friend to a kid. More than anything these children just want to have fun and our mentors say they enjoy doing kid-focused activities too. You can even mentor with your spouse, partner, or family. Attend our information session TONIGHT Wednesday May 15, 6-6:45 pm at the Conference Room at Burnhaven Library in Burnsville or Tuesday June 4, 6-6:45 pm at the Wescott Library in Eagan. For more information on Kids 'n Kinship, go to www.kidsnkinship.org.