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Why mentoring matters: What experts say

‘I work with high-risk children who often live in environments where adults don’t fully support their children’s education. Parents many times have unfair expectations of what children should be doing and, when added in with stress in the home, this can lead to abuse. When children are engaged in schools, they are more likely to build skills and confidence that can lead to resiliency. For some children, a mentor may be the only person that cares for the child unconditionally.”

Dena Chappell

Spokane County Head Start/ ECEAP/Early Head Start

‘Many young people leave school because they haven’t been encouraged to persevere when they struggle academically. Also, some very bright and promising students who aren’t really struggling leave because they don’t feel school is relevant. Having adults who take any active interest in the lives of children and youth and help them identify their interests and provide the appropriate encouragement can light the spark needed for kids to stay in school.”

Joanne Benham

Spokane Regional Youth Department

‘Here at Lutheran Community Services/ Sexual Assault and Family Trauma Response Center, many of the clients have bounced from home to home in the foster care system and begin to question their value and worth. A mentor can help them recognize they do not deserve to be abused. Advocates here go out into the community to teen-centered organizations and run psycho-educational groups for teens around surviving trauma. However, it often seems as though the most crucial work happens when they’re able to just hang out with the youth week after week and develop relationships with them. Teens that never wanted to get help before learn the value of a caring adult.”

Erin Williams

Lutheran Community Services SAFeT Response Center