January is National Mentoring Month, and this year LSS is celebrating the annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.
“LSS is proud of making mentoring matches throughout the Sioux Empire over the last 20+ years. This year we are excited to pour into our community by matching caring adults with youth in need. Mentoring is a key pathway to fulfilling the LSS vision of all people being healthy, safe and accepted,” said Michelle Madsen, LSS Director of Mentoring.
LSS Mentoring Services is involved in school districts including Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Baltic, Brandon Valley, Canton, Dell Rapids, Flandreau, Garretson, Harrisburg, Lennox, Tea Area, Tri-Valley and West Central.
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make positive choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid negative behaviors. In turn, these young people are:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college.
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. National Mentoring Month is the time of year when engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement and become involved in real life.
Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through life choices.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR, the national unifying champion of the mentoring movement. Each year since its launch in 2002, the campaign has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress. Other well-known supporters include the late Maya Angelou, Clint Eastwood, Senator John McCain, Quincy Jones, General Colin L. Powell, Cal Ripken Jr., the late Bill Russell and Usher.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community, visit Mentoring.LssSD.org, email Mentoring@LssSD.org or call us at 605-444-7803.