United Way & Big Friend - Little Friend Announce Merger of Mentor Program
United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton and Big Friend – Little Friend (BFLF) announced that they have merged the community-based mentoring agency to be a programming component under United Way.
BFLF is designed to give young people the opportunity to gain a one to one friendship with a positive and sincere adult mentor. Studies show that youth who have mentors experience improved self-esteem, greater academic achievement, increased motivation in school, and higher quality lifestyle choices.
Due to recent challenges with continuity within the mentoring program, the sustainability of the agency has been uncertain. Therefore, to maintain and add a broader range of services to a larger group of individuals, BFLF will become a program component of United Way per a Memorandum of Understanding agreement effective May 1, 2018.
The merger offers a unique opportunity as United Way will continue to host fun functions and match local youth with community-based mentors, while also looking to expand services to include in-school mentoring. Because of United Way’s position in the community as a cultivator of volunteerism, the hope is to grow the number of youth matched with adult mentors.
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.
BE A MENTOR. CHANGE A LIFE
Contact: Tara Bartekoske, United Way Community Impact Coordinator
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM
Address: 610 W 23rd Street, Suite 11, Yankton, SD 57078