Skip directly to content

Adult Mentors Sought For Y Reach & Rise Program

on January 27, 2019 - 9:08am
The Family YMCA is looking for mentors for its Reach and Rise® program. Courtesy photo
Reach and Rise® Director
The Family YMCA

According to the website,, nationally, approximately one in five youth live in poverty and are at-risk of being negatively impacted by crime, drugs and violence that keep them from reaching a productive adulthood. Los Alamos is not immune to these problems, and many youth in our community also fall into these risk categories. 

Poverty is not the only risk factor for youth achieving their potential. Local youth face the same issues as youth across the country with parents and caregivers under financial stress, some coming from single-parent households pressed for adequate parenting resources and time. Our youth also face immense academic pressure and have high rates of anxiety and depression.

These factors can increase youth’s chances of making poor decisions, becoming involved with juvenile crime, substance use and experiencing low self-esteem. This can lead to social isolation, family conflict, difficultly with peer relationships, academic underachievement, depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.

But there is hope. One of the most powerful protective factors emerging from resiliency studies is the presence of caring, supportive relationships with adults from outside the immediate family unit. Research has demonstrated that children engaged in formal mentoring programs are less likely to skip school, less likely to use drugs, and are less likely to engage in violent behavior.

In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve their goals, The Family YMCA offers the Reach & Rise® mentoring program. This connects youth ages 9 to 17 with adult mentors for 12-18 months.

Right now, we have a need for male mentors, and especially male mentors of color, as we have 15 young boys on our waiting list.

In celebration of National Mentoring Month, I want to issue a call to adults to positively impact a young person through mentoring. Reach and Rise® is an evidence-based mentoring program, which strengthens listening and support skills for adults through in-depth training. The youth, in turn, have self-identified areas they would like to improve.  

If you’d like to learn more about Reach & Rise®, please call me at 662.3100 or email