Bethany Christian Services Mentoring
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
Location901 Eastern Ave NEGrand Rapids, MI 49501 United States
Bethany Christian Services' mentoring program serves three youth populations: Domestic Foster Care, Refugee Foster Care, and Youth Services (for older at-risk youth in the Grand Rapids community). Mentors in our program serve as positive role models who are willing to offer a listening ear and spend quality time with their mentee. The program is community-based, meaning that match activities take place out in the community. Examples of mentoring activities include going to the park, working on homework at the library, going out to eat, or other fun/educational activities in the local community. We ask that mentors commit to spending at least four hours per month with their mentee for one year. Also, individuals who are interested must be 18 years of age, have reliable transportation, and go through background checks prior to being matched with a youth. As a mentoring program we offer support for the mentoring relationship in various ways. Each mentor match will have a designated mentor coordinator as their go-to individual throughout the relationship. We also plan several free events throughout the year that have a career/educational focus for all age groups. For example, in November we have an annual "Chopped" cooking competition, where mentor matches competed to prepare food that would wow the judges. They also heard from a representative of a local culinary arts school. We have also done Art Prize scavenger hunts, tours of local colleges, trivia nights, and a cookouts with kickball in a local park. Mentoring is about developing a friendship that will promote growth in the mentee and mentor.
Many people feel that being a good mentor requires special skills, but this is not true! Good mentors are simply people who have the qualities of good role models. They demonstrate desirable behavior through their own actions and words. A mentor is interested in helping others succeed. They have a genuine interest in other people's lives and are caring, empathetic, open, reliable and honest with others. They are also willing to spend time with the youth frequently and consistently. They reach out and share their life experiences to help in the youth's life journey.