The Need: Parents and Sioux Falls Public School counselors are identifying youth who are struggling or at risk that would benefit from additional adult contact. These youth will benefit from stable, long-term relationships, improved self esteem and improved decision making skills. Research suggests that youth mentoring reduces truancy by 52 percent, use of illegal drugs by 46 percent, aggression towards others by 32 percent and under-age drinking by 27 percent.
The Opportunity: Adult volunteers are needed to spend one hour per week during the school year with a student whose circumstances or behavior is limiting their success in the classroom. They meet at the school during the lunch period to talk, read, play games or do other activities the mentor and mentee value.
Program Description: Lutheran Social Services (LSS) Mentoring Services matches volunteer mentors with students in 11 Sioux Falls area school districts. Mentors have a significant impact on youth by providing guidance and through the creation of consistent, long-term friendships. LSS provides training and support to volunteer adult mentors so they will be effective in establishing trusting, long-term relationships, providing guidance and promoting enhanced self-esteem. LSS partners with the school's counselor to identify students, gain approval from the parent(s), match the student and the mentor, provide the mentor a bit of information about the student and introduce the mentor to the student. Should challenges arise, either the school counselor or the LSS coordinator will serve as a resource to the mentor and the student.
Organization Name: Lutheran Social Services (LSS)
Contact Name: Michelle Madsen
Contact Title: Director, Mentoring Services
Contact Phone: (605) 838-5770
Contact Email: Michelle.Madsen@lsssd.org