Teenagers are facing the most critical stage in their life – adolescence. At this stage, they experience the transition from childhood towards adulthood; in the process of transition, teens deal with lots of biological, emotional, social and psychological changes. Often, these changes make a life of a teenager miserable. There is a great desire to fit in, to be accepted for who they are, to find their true identity, and to realize their own strengths and weaknesses. This is where peer mentoring becomes a lot of help. It keeps the youth guided and makes them feel loved, cared for and accepted.
Features of a Peer Mentoring Program
Peer mentoring is a kind of mentoring program which usually matches older youths with younger ones. The former provide the latter with guidance, advice, and all forms of support they need to be able to meet challenges of adolescent life. The older youths do not only serve as mentors but as role models to the younger ones. They are not perfect but having been through the same stage and most likely, the same problems, predicaments, and challenges in their homes, school and community; they are in the position to provide friendly advice, positive influences, attention, and moral support to these younger teens.
Choosing Youth Squad as a Mentoring Program
Joining a peer mentoring program starts with the eagerness to be a part of a group that is aimed at creating changes both on the life of the mentor and the younger person to be mentored. With a program like Youth Squad, you are also given an opportunity to improve your community. Working towards common goals is an organic way to build trust and enhance relationships.
If you want to be a mentor, first you must be prepared in all aspects. Do you have a plan on how to conduct peer mentoring? What do you do when trying situations arise? Do you have the patience necessary for you to deal with persons who might be going through tough moments in their life?
Getting Starting with Youth Squad
When you are ready, the next thing you should do is to look through the Youth Squad sections to find a few that are suited to your interests that would also appeal to others in your community. Is there a park nearby that could use a clean up? Could your community benefit from a healthy food drive? Search for volunteering opportunities in your area for ideas.
Ask your teachers, schoolmates, and friends for recommendations for other kids that might be interested. You can also ask the head of your local community church or youth organizations in your community or neighboring areas.
Decide the best way to reach out to these others. It might be social media, through another club or group, or directly to their families. Presenting the mentoring program as a way to help others may help potential candidates feel less intimated about the idea. Our getting started blog has more ideas to help you continue to get your program off the ground.
Adolescence can be tough, but we don’t have to go through it alone. A peer mentoring program, especially one that gets youths involved in their community, can be instrumental in helping teens through this turbulent stage of their lives. Youth Squad’s patch programs provide a solid base with which to start planning and organizing your mentoring program today.