Series: Grant reports for Freeborn County Community Foundation
Published 9:29 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Organization: STARS/Community Mentor Connection
Project: Mentoring programs
Report: Community Mentor Connection provides adult volunteer mentors with at-risk youth who need guidance and support. This is a program of STARS, an acronym for Success Through Adults Reaching Students, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The group currently has 16 mentor/mentee relationships in Freeborn County. The funding from the grant will help with operational support to increase the number of children served and provide ongoing support to these existing mentoring relationships. Mentoring is a proven strategy for preventing youth from engaging in drug and alcohol use, skipping school and other at-risk behaviors. According to a press release, mentoring is also a proven cost-effective investment. For every $1 invested in mentoring, there is a $3 return to society.
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Along with gaining new mentors to be matched with Freeborn County youth, mentor/mentee group events are sponsored through this funding. During the past year, the grant has provided help with activities including a picnic at Pioneer Park, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding at the Community Education Boathouse, visiting the Freeborn County Historical Museum and providing appreciation for mentors during January, which is National Mentoring Month.