Making a Difference in the Lives of Dare County Youth
The mission of the Dare County Friends of Youth mentoring program is to place at-risk youths between the ages of 6 – 17 with caring adult volunteers who serve as role models and friends.
The youths involved in the program are referred by various community and school sources, as well as by parents or guardians. They face everyday difficulties and challenges, just like any other adolescent or pre-teen, however they often do not have the resources necessary to deal with their problems. They need the help of a caring friend.
Adult volunteer mentors provide the youths with one-on-one time, a few hours twice a month, in activities that build self-esteem, strong character and friendship, helping the youth to strengthen ties at home and in school. Mentors include small business owners, public sector employees, educators, retirees and many others who have a common goal – to improve the lives of the young people in our community.
In addition to one-on-one time spent together, the program also provides several opportunities throughout the year to participate in group activities. These include beach clean-ups, fishing trips, an annual cooking class, pool parties, etc. These activities not only help the youths to improve their social skills, but they are also great networking opportunities for the mentors.
For those who would like to participate in the program but who are unable to commit to being matched one-on-one, group mentoring opportunities are also available.
Local businesses can help out by becoming a program sponsor, offering discounted food or activities for Friends of Youth mentors and youths, or donated items for program activities. Likewise, monetary donations can be made to the program by individuals, church and civic organizations to help provide scholarships for the youths involved in the program to participate in activities including summer camps, athletics and the arts.
Volunteer are always needed. To apply to become a Friends of Youth mentor, complete an application and provide four positive references. A routine criminal background and driving record check is required along with an interview with Friends of Youth staff and participation in a new mentor training session.
Call the Dare County Friends of Youth mentoring program at (252) 475-5753 for more information about how you can become involved in the program. Let your friendship be the gift that makes a difference in a young person’s life!