MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For 50 years, the YMCA Brother/Sister mentoring program has made positive impact on the youth of the community.
But now, they need more mentors to step up.
The long–time Brother/Sister Mentor Program gives youth from the ages of 6-14, who live in a 2 mile radius of Mankato/North Mankato, the option to be matched with a mentor within the community.
The mentors, on the other hand, have minimal restrictions. Those 18 and above can apply on the website and share information that'll help unite you with a suitable mentee.
Once the application process concludes and a solid fit is made, the magic brews.
Surveys have proven the impact these brother/sister roles have.
“So the survey that we use is developed by the 40 developmental assets. It’s from the search institute and the search institute is based out of Minnesota and one of the main things that kids need for success is a caring adult in their life - and so we base our surveys off of that and it is specific for mentoring programs,” director of social responsibility Cheryl Hamond said.
According to Hamond, those surveys have shown a significant increase self–confidence, academic performance, and more.
With the waitlist of youth mentees continuing to grow, there is a need for mentorship. As of now, girls seeking a mentor have a 3-6 month waiting period and boys have a 2-2 1/2 year wait.
Hamond stresses the nature of the program its ease in integrating it on one's lifestyle.
“It can be a really simple commitment. Sometimes I think people think that mentoring - you have to have a special skill or have something special to be a mentor, and really it’s sharing time with somebody and being a positive role model for them,” Hamond said.
Living proof of that is Max Mayleben – a junior at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Mayleben shared the bond he has with his mentee – 8–year–old Ciaran.
“We are both kind of goofy,” Mayleban said.
And regardless of the scenarios, there is always a role in which a mentor can fit.
“I was wondering where do I fit in with being an older sibling when he already has older siblings, and I think what it is is just being somebody to be - one of the only focuses hanging out with him and having fun with him,” Mayleban said.
The mentor program allots two to three hours a week for mentors and mentees to share time together.
“I think it’ll be a lifelong relationship to some degree - you know your spending this much time regularly together I don’t think you can just be done after 9 months," Mayleban explained.