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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

More Black Mentors Urged for Pennsylvania

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023   

A new study shows despite a long-term increase in mentoring over time, there has still been recent backsliding with Generation Z, who appear to be less likely than millennials to have a mentor. More than 2,600 people participated in the Who Mentored You? study, which revisits the mentoring gap to see if the mentoring movement has succeeded in closing it.

Tim Wills, chief impact officer with MENTOR, said the report found fewer than half of baby boomers reported having a mentor, seven in 10 millennials had a mentor and one in three Generation Z youths reported growing up without one.

Willis said Pennsylvania needs Black male mentors most acutely.

"So there's a real gap for male mentors to step up," Willis said. "There's a gap when you look at African American mentors as well. So folks of color, stepping forward to be mentors, as well. And then just throughout the entire state, there's over 1,000 young people who are sitting on waiting lists today, waiting for mentors in the state of Pennsylvania."

The study noted the growth of mentoring has been slower in rural areas than in suburban or urban locations. Wills emphasized that young people in rural parts of Pennsylvania as well as those in foster care are less likely to have a mentor, and more mentors are still needed to close the gap.

The MENTOR study found that Americans attribute a little more than half of their success in life to the mentoring they had growing up. Wills said young people have experienced some trauma because of the pandemic, and having a mentor has helped some of them with their mental-health needs.

"Young people say time and time again that when there's a mentor in their life, the quality mentor in her life, more than half of them equate that to the success they've had in life," he said. "And so, young people need these caring adults to show up for them."

Wills encouraged Pennsylvanians interested in mentoring to visit mentoring.org, and review the resources document on Becoming a Better Mentor. It is a 12-part series on strategies and how adult mentors can provide quality relationships that help elevate youth in their communities.


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