Mentors Needed for Pinellas County Children of Prisoners
CLEARWATER - Eckerd Early Intervention & Prevention Services in Pinellas County is seeking new adult mentors to be matched up with boys and girls in the Pinellas County area who have a parent incarcerated in prison.
“We currently have a dire need for at least 10 adults to mentor children ages 5 through 17. These children are good kids who truly need a positive role model in their lives. It involves only an hour per week of your time, and it will be worth every minute of it,” said Jim Oliver, Eckerd Mentoring Coordinator.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than two million children in the United States that have at least one parent in federal or state prison. Already traumatized by losing their mom or dad, these vulnerable children are often stigmatized, shuffled from place to place, and uncertain about their futures. All too often, they fall behind in school and are at risk for unhealthy behaviors and activities. Research shows, however, that caring adult mentors have a dramatic effect on these children’s lives. Young people with mentors are:
What makes a good mentor? The main job requirements for becoming a mentor are being at least 18 years of age, being a good listener, and being committed.
“If you have ever thought about doing more with your life and really making a difference, now is the time to mentor a child. Our need has never been more urgent,” Oliver said.
Since consistency is important with youth, Eckerd asks all mentors to commit to the relationship for a minimum of one year. An extensive matching process is utilized to ensure a good match is made. Training is also provided.
For information, call Jim Oliver at 727-348-7402 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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