Do Paid Mentors Make a Difference?
February 24, 2011 08:34 pm
Friends of the Children, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, says they do. The organization was recently profiled on NPR’s show All Things Considered. The group works to provide children a nurturing and sustained relationship with a professional mentor who teaches positive values and has attainable expectations for each child to become healthy, productive members of the community. Most mentoring programs rely on volunteers but Friends of the Children pays mentors and provides them with intensive social work training. Judy Stavisky, executive director of the program, says “The role of the mentor is both an anchor and a sail for the kids, because these kids have very little of each. We provide that grounding experience for the kids. We also open their eyes to the universe of possibilities of the way they could behave and the way their lives can be.” Research is still underway to determine the program’s success rates but Friends of the Children reports that 85 percent of its students graduate from high school. Click on the player below to listen to the full story.