In the world of managing risks, it’s easy to forget or dismiss the undeniable truth that mentoring relationships can make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people, particularly those are known to be at risk.
Consider the following findings from a study of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in which researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in the program, were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- 33% less likely to hit someone
They also found that the Littles were more confident of their performance in schoolwork and were getting along better with their families.
The Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring also found the following:
The message is simple. Sometimes there is no substitute for the difference a relationship can make in the life of a child. Positive mentoring is capable of filling a void. How we manage and protect those relationships becomes the challenge.