The Family YMCA of Los Alamos graduated its inaugural class of mentors May 27, as a part of the Reach & Rise™ youth mentoring program training.
Mentors learned about counseling techniques and theories taken from psychology such as family systems theory and mental health issues. Through the Reach & Rise training mentors will be better equipped to meet the needs of the referred youth and have an understanding of how to relate to the youth while mentoring.
“Learning about how to respond to issues children might face has made me more confident and better prepared to respond when sensitive issues occur while mentoring. It was a really valuable experience!” said Linda Daly, CEO of The Family YMCA and graduate of the Reach & Rise training.
Eight volunteer mentors graduated the 15 hour training and will now be matched with kids ages 6-17 based on the children’s interest and needs. Children are referred by counselors, parents, educators or community members. Youth and their families are screened by the program director for program appropriateness for the program and also to create effective matches with the mentors.
The Reach & Rise mentoring program was developed by mental health professionals in San Francisco who observed that children with greater needs and risk factors were falling out of traditional mentoring programs.
Through a partnership with Y-USA, The Family YMCA of Los Alamos is now able to offer this innovative mentoring opportunity. Mentors are matched with youth who have similar interests upon completing 15 hours of training and a background check. The second cohort of mentors will begin their training in early summer for matches at the start of the new school year.
For more information about how to volunteer for the next class or refer a child who would benefit from the program, contact Aaron Purtzer at 505.662.3100 or email@example.com