DES MOINES, Iowa -- Organizers of a new campaign are looking for people to give back to the community by helping kids. It's National Mentoring Month. One organization used the day to launch a new initiative matching mentors with the program best for them.
Seven Central Iowa certified mentoring programs are teaming up to help find quality mentors. The campaign Be A Mentor Des Moines launched today. Anna Wernimont with Be A Mentor Des Moines says, "There is a great need for high quality mentors in the city of Des Moines and surrounding metro to really reach out to youth who come from all sorts of backgrounds. We currently have 250 youth on a waiting list that are in need of a match."
Be A Mentor Des Moines helps match volunteers with a program that best suits them. You can take a quiz at www.beamentordsm.org. Participating mentor programs include Community Youth Concepts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, Everybody Wins! Iowa, I Have a Dream Foundation, Johnston Youth Mentoring Program, Mentor Iowa and Orchard Place.
A grant from the Principal Foundation helped get the campaign started. Principal Employee and Orchard Place Mentor Josh Ingalls enjoys the time he spends mentoring. He says, “It puts you in a position where you want to be a role model. So, it makes you hold yourself accountable to be the best person you can be. It helps you to try to set an example through how you talk, how you act and then it also challenges you."
Representatives from around the state gathered at the statehouse for “Mentoring Day on the Hill.” The goal was to talk to lawmakers about the benefits of youth mentoring programs.