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Hoosier Kids Succeed With Help From Mentors

Photo: Indiana Mentor License Plate, photo courtesy: Indiana Mentoring Partnership
Photo: Indiana Mentor License Plate, photo courtesy: Indiana Mentoring Partnership
January 7, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - January is National Mentoring Month, and there's an effort underway to recruit more mentors and match them with Hoosier kids. Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, says research shows that young people who are mentored tend to do better in life.

"We're talking about one adult, one child, one hour, once a week, one school year. Those kids tend to do better in school, they tend to make better choices, and tend to become self-sufficient adults. It's a great opportunity for people to make a real difference in the life of a child."

Stanczykiewicz says parents are uniquely responsible for raising kids, but having another positive adult in a child's life is important.

"Even if kids have that strong family background, a mentor can still make a difference and help that child succeed. But we also know, more and more of our kids are not enjoying that strong family support, and that makes the need for mentoring even stronger."

The Indiana Youth Institute president says mentoring takes many forms.

"It can be one-on-one as it is through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. It can be in small groups or teams as it is with 100 Black Men. Businesses get involved by having their employees mentor on the clock."

Stanczykiewicz says the Indiana Mentoring Partnership's website has recruited 2400 mentors statewide since it was founded in 2009. Enter your ZIP code at the bottom of the home page to find a mentoring program near you.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN