MentorKids program encouraging youth in Owensboro

MentorKids_43By: Aurelia Spaulding

Cliff Boswell became a mentor at MentorKids Kentucky because it was an opportunity to get involved with a child that may not have a father and show them a positive influence.

“Many youth have difficult challenges and need positive people and encouragement in their lives,” Boswell said.

MentorKids serves as a place to match at-risk children, who are without one or both parents, with a positive role model. Youth are matched with volunteers that serve as mentors for their program. As a Christian organization, MentorKids works with churches and also maintains a relationship with their local schools.

Matt Woodfall, MentorKids Director, said, “The idea is to give someone a person.” MentorKids provides youth with a person that spends time with them at least one hour a week for a minimum of one year in addition to monthy activities that MentorKids coordinates for all the youth. The mentor may help the mentee with homework, go to the movies, or play basketball and other recreation sports. To help guide things along, MentorKids encourages activities that focus on five areas: spiritual, character, academic, relational, and life skills.

MentorKids serves Daviess County with three additional programs from their general mentoring program. These programs include: Bridge Teams, MentorMoms, and Troopers.

Bridge Teams is MentorKids within the church. MentorKids partners with area churches to start their own mentoring ministry. MentorKids will train and supervise mentors as well as direct children to their Bridge Team.

“We are committed to partnering with other community organizations that have the people and the resources. This allows us to have a more holistic approach to ministering to the youth and serve the families as well.” Woodfall said regarding Bridge Teams.

Currently, Bridge Teams exist at Heritage Baptist Church, Pleasant Valley Community Church, and Utica Baptist Church in Daviess County.

Woodfall said there are 6,000 single parent households in Daviess County, and 95 percent of their matches are from homes with single mothers. For this reason, Mentor Kids started the program MentorMoms to work with mothers. MentorMoms helps moms by providing quarterly activities for single mothers like a spa night to help them relax or presentations on handling their finances.

MentorKids also provides activities for youth in their Troopers program. Troopers consist of the youth on the waiting list for a mentor. It provides monthly activities for the youth as a group until they get a mentor.

Eighty current matches are overseen through MentorKids, and the organization can use individuals interested in volunteering as a mentor or with monthly activities. MentorKids is a United Way agency. To contact MentorKids, call the office at 270-926-6893 or visit their website at http://www.mentorkidsky.org.

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