Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) and its Community-Based Mentoring Program celebrates National Mentoring Month during the month of January. In addition to spotlighting the importance of mentoring, GCPS is committed to increasing the number of quality mentoring opportunities in order to connect more young people with caring adults. Currently, GCPS has mentoring programs that connect potential community mentors with male and female students in grades 4 through 12 to provide guidance, encouragement, and support to help them become successful young adults, both in and out of school. This year, the program extended its outreach, beginning an emphasis on the mentoring of Hispanic students.
“Mentoring is a critical part of developing positive relationships within our community— mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people,” says James Rayford, Director of the Community-Based Mentoring Program.
Studies show mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behaviors. In turn, these young people are:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
- 81% more likely to report participating in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team
Research also shows that 9 million young people in the United States will grow up without a mentor.
Gwinnett’s Community-Based mentors are 21 years of age or older. Interested individuals are asked to attend a Volunteer Mentor Training Session. Once a person determines they want to become a mentor and can commit to a minimum of one year as a mentor, the person completes a background check and the mentor application. The program will then provide training and match the mentor to a student. Interested in becoming a mentor? Call 770-682-8086.