January is National Mentoring Month. The Harford County Local Management Board, in partnership with several local mentoring and youth development programs, is sponsoring information nights and activities to promote mentoring and encourage prospective volunteers to consider becoming a mentor. Three sites throughout the county will feature information about local mentoring programs for prospective mentors as well as activities for youth and mentors. The month will kick off at the Harford Community College APGFCU Arena on January 6 from 4-7 pm. The Harford Owls’ Women’s Basketball Team will sponsor activities in the gym and the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation will have volunteers on hand to help kids begin filling out FAFSA applications. The Havre de Grace Boys and Girls Club, located at the Havre de Grace Activities Center, will hold a similar event on January 14, 2014, from 4-7 pm. On Monday, January 19, the Epicenter in Edgewood will feature information on their new mentoring programs in addition to other community mentoring programs. There will be open gym time for youth as well as other activities from 6-8:30 pm. On Tuesday, January 27, the Whiteford Library will showcase activities that mentors and mentees can engage in at the library in addition to showcasing mentoring programs in available to youth in the county from 4-7 pm.
National research shows that an average teenager spends 40% of his or her waking hours without formal supervision or companionship. Having the consistent presence of a mentor in the lives of young people has been linked to youth being 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 37% less likely to skip a class, 46% less likely to start using drugs, and 27% less likely to use alcohol. “Mentoring is a low cost solution to the rise in drug use we have seen in Harford County,” said Sharon Lipford, Deputy Director of the Department of Community Services.
Plans also include a mentoring conference called “I Inspire” sponsored by LASOS, a local nonprofit, on January 24 at the MacFaul Center in Bel Air from 9 am – 1 pm. Students in grades 9-12 will hear personal stories from leaders in the business community about the ingredients to future success and leadership lessons they have learned. A fee of $10 per student will be charged, with scholarships available for those unable to pay. It is open to all Harford County high school students.
The month’s festivities will conclude with a Community Conversation on creating a culture of mentoring in Harford County from 7-9 pm on January 29, 2014, in Edgewood Hall at Harford Community College. Discussion will focus on the value of mentoring and ways to expand use of mentoring in the County. RSVPs to events and questions can be directed to Kim Parks-Bourn, coordinator of the Harford County Local Management Board, at 410-638-3389 or email@example.com.
To see all the local Mentoring Programs & Activities, view the flyer below: