Building Futures Mentoring
Program in Lehigh Acres
Our Y is pleased to begin offering the Building Futures Mentoring Program in Lehigh Acres this fall. The Building Futures Mentoring Program is a national YMCA program that is committed to youth development by nurturing the potential of kids and teens to help them achieve and reach their full potential.
WHAT IS BUILDING FUTURES?
The program is designed for youth ages 6 to 17 who lack role models and are in communities challenged by poverty, crime, truancy, single-parent households, among other social issues. Research shows that youth facing such challenges are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring adult. Building Futures connects these children with adult mentors for 12-18 months. As part of program implementation, the Y will recruit and train adult volunteer mentors to provide direct one-to-one mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR LOCAL YOUTH?
The Building Futures Mentoring Program was founded in 1992 at the YMCA of San Francisco, and later piloted by five more YMCA locations in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Nashville, Phoenix, and Oakland. At these sites, Building Futures has been shown, through evaluation results, to help youth better express their feelings, increase school grades, expect more from themselves, get along better with others, and become more involved in enrichment programs and after-school activities. As part of a national expansion beginning in 2013, the South County Family YMCA is one of 38 Ys now offering the program.
WHO ARE BUILDING FUTURES MENTORS?
Mentors are volunteers ages 23+, with varied cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds, who wish to make a positive impact on the self-esteem of young people in Lehigh Acres. Mentors commit to spending 1-3 hours per week with their mentee for one full year. The Y is committed to ensuring a safe and caring environment for its youth and will conduct face-to-face screenings as well as provide 15+ hours of paraprofessional counseling training over 4-5 weeks before matching a mentor.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Lindsay Brown to begin the application process.
WHO DOES THE PROGRAM SERVE?
The Building Futures Mentoring Program serves young people in Lehigh Acres experiencing problems, such as low self-esteem, poor academic progress, peer difficulties, family conflict, and/or poor decision making. Youth in our program come from a wide range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and family backgrounds.
Young people are referred to the program in a number of ways:
- From school counselors, teachers and principals.
- From community agencies such as social welfare and counseling agencies.
- From YMCA programs.
- From YMCA community, friends, family, and/or self-referrals.
If you know a child who may benefit from the program, please contact Lindsay Brown to begin the referral process.