Thursday, April 4, 2013

We Need You To Become a Mentor!

“When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become--whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm--her goal remains abstract… But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, 'Yes, someone like me can do this.’”  ― Sonia Sotomayor
The Volunteer Center of Bergen County runs two outstanding mentoring programs -- Mentoring Moms and Mentoring Youth – both of which have positive impact on another person’s life. 
Through the Mentoring Youth program, caring men and women provide guidance, friendship and support to children ages 5 to 18 who are confronted with social, emotional and behavioral challenges.  Mentoring Moms are women who make a difference in the lives of overwhelmed mothers of all ages.  The volunteers spend time with mothers who have difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households, providing for their children or overcoming myriad obstacles. At any given time, dozens of children or moms are waiting for the support of a mentor -- like you.  
Training for the Mentoring Youth program is on consecutive Wednesdays beginning on April 17thMentoring Moms begins its training session on Monday, April 22nd; both trainings are from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the Volunteer Center in Hackensack.
“The theme for National Volunteer Month is ‘Celebrate Service,” says Janet Sharma, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center.  “To be a mentor is to be a vital, important and positive influence on the life of someone who can use a guiding hand or a sympathetic ear.  Mentors truly touch the lives of others for the better.”
Mentors will learn valuable communication skills, as well as problem solving skills. Guest speakers, including current mentors and social services case workers, will share their experiences so that new mentors have the background and knowledge to help support their mentees.  All mentors undergo a comprehensive screening process which includes fingerprinting and other background checks. Currently, there is an especially critical need for bi-lingual Spanish speaking men and women to become mentors.
Deadline to register for either Mentoring Moms or Mentoring Youth training is April 12.  Call the Volunteer Center of Bergen County at (201) 489-9454, or visit their website at and click on Mentoring Programs.

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