January is National Mentoring Month. This nationwide event is dedicated to celebrating the benefits that mentoring has on youth development, recognizing individuals who volunteer their time as mentors, and encouraging all adults to become mentors in 2018. Along with a month-long celebration, the Mason City Youth Task Force’s One on One Mentoring Project is celebrating its 20-year anniversary!

A mentor is defined as someone who is committed to playing a consistent and positive role in the life of a young person. Mentors and mentees can meet at school or outside of school. Many pairs spend time playing sports and games, do homework, participate in community activities, and sometimes just hang out and talk. Surprisingly, what a mentor does with his or her mentee is not as important as the simple fact that he or she has taken a genuine interest in their mentee’s life.

Most mentors volunteer for one hour each week, but it is this personal, one-on-one time that contributes most significantly to the positive development of young people. Not only does the mentee benefit from this relationship, but many mentors also describe the sense of satisfaction and contribution that they feel after spending time with their mentee.

Please consider donating one hour of your time per week to mentor a child.

Diane Murphy, Mason City

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