Summit County Mountain Mentors is a well-established community-based mentoring program that matches caring adult volunteers with youth ages 8 to 16. Mountain Mentors’ mission is “to positively influence the youth of Summit County to lead healthy lifestyles, through a consistent one-to-one relationship with an adult.”
A mentoring relationship with a mature adult can help a young person overcome certain obstacles and learn skills that will prove to be valuable in their maturation. Research has proven that youth in a consistent mentoring relationship do better in school and are less likely to begin using drugs or alcohol. They are also more likely to have a higher self-esteem.
Young people between the ages of 8 and 16 may be referred to Mountain Mentors. The youth participate voluntarily in cooperation with the parents for a minimum of one year. Program coordinators provide ongoing monthly match support for the family and mentor throughout their commitment. Youth can be referred by a family member, neighbor, school teacher, counselor, or themselves.
The volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment meeting eight hours each month with their mentee. Activities can range from help with schoolwork, playing catch, going to the recreation center, or even going skiing on the mountain. Mentors come from all walks of life and share a common interest in young people.
A year round activities program is offered in order to facilitate the relationship building process. These activities include recreational activities such as camping, hiking, ski trips, rafting, life skills such as visits to museums or cooking, and community service projects to give back to the community.