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REACH & RISE helps Bay Area youth ages 6-18 develop tools to cope with issues such as low self-esteem, family and peer conflicts, academic underachievement and decision-making skills through a positive adult-child relationship. Volunteer mentors meet with mentees once each week to support them with challenges occurring in their lives while engaging in enriching community activities. Mentors don’t need any special skills, just a desire to make a difference!
WHY WAS REACH & RISE CREATED?
- This free program was established to serve the needs of young people not being met by existing youth services.
- To offer over-stressed families a resource to help meet their children’s needs.
- To provide youth with positive, growth-inducing relationships with adults through the mentoring process.
- To make a difference in a child’s life.
WHAT TYPE OF YOUTH DOES THE PROGRAM SERVE?
- Elementary, Middle and High School-aged children and their families
- Young people experiencing problems such as low self-esteem, poor academic performance, truancy, peer difficulties, family conflict and poor decision-making skills.
- Youth from a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
- Youth encompassing a variety of family backgrounds including intact families, single-parent families, blended families, foster home and/or grandparent and other relative-headed families.
HOW ARE YOUNG PEOPLE REFERRED TO THE PROGRAM?
- From other YMCA enrichment programs
- From local community and mental health services
- From school counselors, teachers and principals.
- From parents and guardians.
All referrals to the REACH & RISE go through an application process and an initial telephone and face-to-face screening with the Program Coordinator. This process helps determine whether or not each child is appropriate for the program. Those children assessed to have mental health problems not appropriate for our program will be referred elsewhere. The types of issues not likely to be handled by our mentors include: acute depression, homicidal or suicidal behavior, drug/alcohol dependence and violent behavior.
WHO ARE REACH & RISE MENTORS?
- Volunteers form the local community who wish to make a positive impact on the self-esteem of young people.
- Men and women ages 23 - 60+
- Adults from varied cultural, educational and professional backgrounds.
- Mentors are actively recruited within the YMCA community, community agencies, local corporations, universities and by word of mouth of current mentors.