January was National Mentoring Month, but February or any month is a great time to talk about the importance of mentoring.
Studeis have shown that mentoring works. Youth who have a mentor are more likely to stay in school, stay out of trouble, finish high school and go to college.
Maria Bingham of Communities in School shared with this newspaper a mentoring success story of an 8th grader at Carver Middle School in Laurel Hill.
Louann Albright, a teacher for 18 years, describes her year-long mentoring relationship with the student as “a positive, eye-opening experience.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child and I think it really does. I believe every adult should add something positive to a child’s life.” Albright said.
It is clear both lives have been enriched by the mentoring program.
The Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce has its own mentoring effort through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!
The chamber-sponsored program help guide students through the process of starting their own real businesses. Part of that process, is teaming the student up with an appropriate business mentor. This person helps the students to better understand their concept, write a business plan, identify their target audience and provide all around support.
Mentors this year include, John Ferguson, who is on the chamber board; Jim Hunt, the manager of Self-Help Credit Union; Becca Hughes, owner of State Farm Insurance – Becca Hughes Agency; Dorothy B. Tyson, vocational teacher and Live on Main program manager; and Deb Guess, owner of Soul Whispers Arts.
We commend those mentors for taking time out to help a young person. We only wish there were more like them. Today, nearly 15 million young people need a caring adult mentor in their lives.
Communities In Schools of Scotland County is also in great need of adults willing to step up and volunteer. CIS officials will match you with a child in need and provide training and support. To find out more about the program and how you can help, call 277-4459, ext. 365