Make a Difference, Be a Mentor

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Hathaway-Sycamores has mentoring opportunities available at both our Family Resource Center in Highland Park and a newly added program at our El Nido residential campus in Altadena.

The FRC program in Highland Park serves at-risk youth, ages 8 to 17 years, who are often dealing with family instability, self-esteem issues and poor school performance. The program is a one-on-one partnership that matches up an adult volunteer mentor with a mentee. At the Family Resource Center our mentee/partners have the benefit of other activities for the girls and boys to enjoy including: the learning lab, tutoring, Youth Leadership Council, dancing and guitar lessons. If needed, mental health services from clinicians are available. In addition to the one-on-one time between mentors and mentees, we hold fun and educational monthly group outing. The kids get to meet other kids in the program and enjoy friendships with other adults who serve as additional role models. The Mentoring Program at the FRC is overseen by Richard Ledesma, a retired police officer, and father who continues to be active in the Highland Park community.

The El Nido Mentoring Program was recently developed to provide youth in group homes, foster care or youth in probation the opportunity to develop a connection with a caring adult, when other important relationships are lacking. Through our mentoring program youth will be given additional support, guidance, and friendship to help them navigate through the many transitions in their lives. Mentor and mentees can participate in various activities that are of interest to both such as, playing video games, going to the movies, hanging out at the park, doing homework, and many more.

Being a mentor is both challenging and extremely rewarding. Mentors listen, relate, sympathize and provide constructive feedback and help find positive alternatives to negative behaviors, opening their mentees to an expanded understanding and experience of the world and to the possibilities that exist beyond their own neighborhood. According to AJ, one of our mentors, “Words can’t really describe how extremely rewarding it is to be a positive influence and make a huge difference in the lives of these kids.” AJ is quick to mention the positive impact it has had in his life too. “These kids become family. Giving back to the community like that really makes me feel I’m helping to make the world a better place.” If you would like to make the world a better place, contact Denise Larsen at (626) 395-7100 ext. 2515 or via email for more information about mentoring or volunteering in some other capacity. Click here to read more about AJ’s experience volunteering at Hathaway-Sycamores. 

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