YWCA’s Youth Mentorship Program (YMP) is designed to promote positive youth development and leadership while combating issues leading to increased drop‐out rates, teen pregnancy rates, and juvenile detention rates facing the enrolled youth in the program. YMP’s strength lies in its unique family‐oriented atmosphere. Mentors act as role‐models and tutors while interacting with the families of each participant in order to provide the best possible service to each youth. For many of the youth that we serve, that steadying presence over their formative years is the most stable thing in their lives. By providing a structured study environment, enrichment activities, character development, and tutoring we promote success in school, development of…show more content… According to a study conducted by the US Department of Education in 2007, “At least 50 percent and often closer to 70 percent of youth growing up in high‐risk conditions developed social competence despite exposure to severe stress.” This is due to the qualities the youth development model seeks to instill. Youth in this study who did well in school were more likely to make a successful transition to adulthood. This transition included a greater likelihood of attaining a high school diploma, attending post‐secondary education, attaining a college degree and improving social and economic standing. On the other hand, poor academic achievement led to less successful outcomes and a greater tendency of school…show more content… Pre‐teen and teenage years are often difficult periods socially, mentally, physically as well as academically. Adolescents struggle with identity development, acceptance and the demands of peer pressure. They often experience intense emotional states of insecurity, rebellion, and depression; however these challenges are typically intensified for at‐risk youth. At‐risk youth may lack the necessary social or familial support to be successful in their academic, personal and social lives or to overcome such pressures. Many of these young people do not have a family life capable of providing a structured environment that encourages positive decision‐making skills or the building of basic social skills. Furthermore, there is often little or no support academically to complete homework or to be studious during after school hours. Many children from at‐risk homes lack the motivation to be successful in school and to build personal relationships with peers.
Students of the Youth Mentorship Program are encouraged to focus on their strengths, set high expectations and to take advantage of the alternatives available to them in order to succeed. As a part of YMP, The mentor/mentee relationship is specifically designed to help at‐ risk adolescents ages 11‐14 remain focused and have self‐determination as they continue on in their teenage