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The Importance of One

Psychologists have long understood a child’s emotional and economic prospects dramatically improve if there is one thing present in his life: a positive connection with an adult.

Some children simply do not enjoy a ready supply of natural mentors at home or in their neighborhood. Parents may work two or three jobs. Sometimes a parent has passed away, a child lives far from other

family members, or a home situation is uncertain. Children may face learning disabilities, have attendance problems, or struggle with poor social skills. Often, an unfair burden of bad luck weighs on them and their family.

A disproportionate number of children in Grand County lack the one-on-one attention needed to thrive. Grand Area Mentoring provides youth with carefully trained

mentors who meet with them weekly. The results are unequivocal.

In her Moab Times-Independent column, Antje Rath, clinical mental health counselor at Moab Regional Hospital, wrote: “behavior problems decrease and

[mentored] children are more socially involved. Their self-esteem improves and their risk for long-term mental health and behavioral problems decreases.”

It seems almost too simple to be true, but… the relationship itself is the intervention. Positive social interaction reduces stress and shared experiences help the children learn new skills.

Rath writes: “Mentees frequently talk about the importance that the mentoring time and their mentor have in their lives. They are looking forward to going to school on their mentoring days. Children feel heard and understood, which is a crucial part of healthy development.”

Indeed, it is next to impossible for a child to forge a fulfilling future without the guidance and support of responsible adults. The good news: Grand Area Mentoring’s volunteer team provides assistance to promising youth every week. The program supported 90 matches last year, a substantial number for a community of Moab’s size. Grand Area Mentoring’s average match length is more than 300% better than the national average, an indicator of program health.

For children who lack one-on-one attention, those likely to fail and carry on dysfunction, Grand Area Mentoring fills a void. It fills that void with a kind-hearted, responsible adult.

For more about the program: 435-260-9646 or grandareamentoring@gmail.com


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