Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is looking for adult volunteers who want to make a New Year's resolution to help young people overcome disadvantages and avoid delinquency.
The effort is part of a new national mentoring program know as Goodwill GoodGuidesTM, designed to help teens finish school and transition into productive careers through the guidance of trusted adults.
The program targets youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at risk for dropping out of school, faxing legal troubles, or at risk for delinquency due to issues such as abuse, disability or drug or alcohol dependence. Its overall goal is to help potentially troubled young people build career plans and skills by providing structured and supportive relationships with trusted adult mentors. Specific goals are improved school attendance and academic scores, high school graduation, career exploration, job shadowing, service learning and financial literacy.
GoodGuidesTM volunteer mentors must be 21 or older, submit to a background check, and agree to a one-year commitment. They will receive mentor training and be required to communicate weekly with the youths, spend six to eight hours a month with them, and communicate monthly with the Goodwill mentoring specialist.
Mentors from the business community will be asked to share insights into the working world and to help youths explore career challenges and opportunities.
The Goodwill GoodGuidesTM program in this region is funded by a two-year, $299,723 grant to Goodwill SWPA. It is part of a $19.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice awarded to Goodwill International and dispersed to 56 independent Goodwill agencies in 38 states.
For more information about becoming a volunteer mentor or to suggest a youth who might benefit from this program, contact Jackie Abel-Stavropoulos, program manager with Goodwill SWPA, at 412-390-2308 or Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org.