For a child with one or both parents incarcerated, the commitment and support of a mentor can help build confidence; improve school performance; and result in a lifetime of healthier choice. Mentors working with youth can gain perspective; self-esteem; and new relationships.
Research shows that mentoring works:
- Increased youth self-confidence and better school performance and behavior;
- Mentored youth are 46% less likely to get involved with drugs or alcohol;
- 86% of mentored youth go on to higher education;
- Mentored children develop better relationships with their families and other adults;
- Mentored children have experienced a reduction in feelings of hopelessness;
- Mentored children have a reduction in delinquent behavior such as skipping school and class, initiating drug and alcohol use, and getting into physical fights.
Mentors can make a difference in the lives of children and youth impacted by parental incarceration by:
- Challenging young people to excel academically and in extracurricular activities that promote healthy social interaction, team-building, collaboration and mutual benefit.
- Helping young people improve their relationships with others.
- Working alongside caregivers to reinforce a stable environment grounded in values and a belief in family.
- Exposing young people to educational and cultural events and opportunities.