“I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County is excited to celebrate National Mentor Month this January. Last year, 155 mentors donated 9,300 hours of support to youth from low-income communities enrolled in “I Have a Dream’s” long-term programming. We are grateful for their support.

The support our mentors provide these youth through the one-on-one relationship is invaluable. In the words of one of our youths: “Knowing that you have someone you can trust is the best part about having a mentor. Whenever you have a problem you don’t want to tell your friends or your parents, your mentor will be there for you.” Our mentors are, indeed, cheerleaders, advocates and confidantes of our youth who encourage and support the youths’ social, emotional and academic development — and young people with a mentor are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college.

However, 220 youth are still waiting to be matched with mentors. Olivia, a third-grader, states: “I want a mentor who would take me on new adventures.” She loves to dance, fish, watch movies and learn science. David, an eighth-grader, says, “My mom can’t always make (it) to all my games, and I’d love to have a mentor there to share the experience.”

Mentors Joshua Moran and Margie Gamez like that “mentoring can help the student have experiences in real life, rather than just through the internet or their social media accounts. It is one of the most rewarding experiences ever!”

Mentors meet with their mentee twice each month for a year. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, apply online at ihaveadreamboulder.org or call 303-444-3636, ext. 119.

Carla Maniscalco, Boulder

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