Why We Need Mentoring Partnerships: The high school dropout rate for mentored students is 1.1%, compared to 11.7% for young people without mentors. Yet hundreds of youth in Northern Virginia are on mentoring program waiting lists.
The Fairfax Mentoring Partnership (FMP) began as an initiative of the Fairfax Partnership for Youth (FPY) in September 1999, after it was determined that there was a gap in the number of youth who need mentors and the number presently being served. Mentoring works. Research shows that 46 percent of mentored teens are less likely to use drugs, 59 percent improve academic performance, and 73 percent become more goal-oriented. Mentored kids are more likely to do well in school, develop better relationships with adults, and have improved self-discipline.
How We Do It: FPY partners with the Fairfax County Public Schools to improve mentoring capacity by:
- Increasing the number of young people who enter into a mentoring relationship,
- Supporting and expanding quality mentoring programs throughout Northern Virginia, and
- Educating the public about the benefits of mentoring and recruit more caring adults to volunteer with young people in our region.
- A Program Manager oversees services for the Northern VA Region
- FPY contracts with an experienced mentor training facilitator to provide basic mentor training to new volunteers
- FMP coordinates mentoring activities and services provided by the 30+ mentoring programs and 8 partnership organizations to ensure improved access to mentors across the region
- FMP works with local municipalities to find or create programs to deliver services where they are needed most
- 3500 youth participate in traditional and site-based mentoring programs in Fairfax County
- 700 youth are on waiting lists for the 30+ programs providing mentoring in the region
- Mentors and mentees in NoVA mentoring programs spend and average of two hours
FPY Mentoring Partnerships Results:
Youth have improved access to caring, supportive adult mentors, which in turn provides them with:
- Academic support: Most students receive homework and studying assistance from their mentors on a regular basis; many mentors work in concert with the parent(s) and the teachers.
- Goal Setting and Critical Thinking: Mentors assist youth with learning to set goals, think through problems, and predict possible consequences to their choices.
- Healthy Self-Esteem: Youth benefit from the high expectations and encouragement of their mentor.
Mentoring capacity in Northern VA has increased:
- Hundreds of volunteers have received basic mentor training from FMP
- Over a thousand potential volunteers have received assistance to identify an appropriate local mentoring program
- All of the mentoring programs in Northern VA have boosted their capacity as a result of FMP’s mentor recruitment efforts, technical support, and training programs
- General awareness of mentoring as a rewarding volunteer opportunity is raised as a result of ongoing its ongoing promotion through our web listings, press releases, events, and publications together per week.