Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Volunteer Mentors Change Lives

For 11 years, Steve Wainwright has come through the doors of First Place once a week to mentor a student.

Volunteer mentors provided a much needed hour to students attending First Place. Steve sometimes gets the feeling that some of the kids aren’t listened to as much as they’d want. Being a mentor means listening, playing a game, coloring, practicing reading or even doing homework.

National research from Big Brothers Big Sisters shows that children who are mentored are:
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs.
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol.
  • 52% less likely to skip school.
  • 37% less likely to skip a class.
  • more confident of their performance in schoolwork.
  • one-third less likely to hit someone.
  • getting along better with their families.
Steve knows what he’s doing is making a difference by giving one hour a week. His favorite moments are often at First Place Graduation when he sees pride in the eyes of the parents watching their children.

(Pictured above: Steve with a student at a year-end trip to Wild Waves.)

Steve says he appreciates the overall staff at First Place and that “everybody is focused on the right thing, consistently, year after year.”

If he could say anything to individuals who are considering volunteering at First Place, he would encourage males to give it some thought because their presence is underrepresented and much needed.

First Place currently has 15 students (mostly boys) waiting to be matched to a mentor.

If you are interested in being a volunteer mentor at First Place contact our Volunteer Manager, Joyce Scoggins, at (206) 323-6715 x1205.

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