Goodwill Needs Mentors for GoodGuides Program

January marks the 10th anniversary of National Mentoring Month, and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is honoring the occasion by asking local adults to give one hour each week to make a positive difference in a young person’s life.

The organization hopes to recruit at least 25 new mentors for the Goodwill GoodGuides youth mentoring program during National Mentoring Month. Since the program launched last February, adult mentors have helped area youth overcome disadvantages, finish school and prepare for a successful career path.

“Our GoodGuides youth mentors are helping young people set goals for the future and navigate how to achieve them,” said Michael Elder, president and CEO. “We need more mentors who can encourage these young people to stay in school and reach for their goals.”

Goodwill provides comprehensive training, support and supervision for mentors who volunteer for either one-on-one or group mentoring. GoodGuides hosts career exploration events and other community activities for mentors and mentees to attend together.

More than 80 area youth ages 12-17 have enrolled in the program in the past year, and more than 40 adult mentors have volunteered. But it’s not enough. Only 65 of those youth have been matched with a mentor thus far. The remaining mentees are waiting to be matched.

This past October, GoodGuides participants visited Microsoft for a career exploration event. In November, they visited the Charlotte Bobcats for a career presentation and scavenger hunt, and then stayed to watch the Bobcats take on the Phoenix Suns.

“GoodGuides is such an important program that supports our mission of changing lives through the power of work,” said Elder. “Young people are the future of our community, and mentors help ensure that those young people are on the path to success.”

The program is made possible through a two-year grant to Goodwill Industries International, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For more information on becoming a Goodwill GoodGuides volunteer mentor, or if you know of a youth who would benefit from the program, call 704-372-3434 or visit www.goodwillsp.org/goodguides.

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