The American outdoor industry is booming, and Moab’s need for youth mentors continues to grow as the region attracts greater numbers of tourists to its natural wonders. Additional visitors apply high demand to the service sector – particularly in the dining, recreation, and hospitality industries. Consequently, seasonal and low-wage workers move to the area.
Many parents take on two or three jobs, which may leave children without guidance after school. 95% of mentees qualify for free or reduced lunch. According to CliffsNotes, “Poor families experience much more stress than middle‐class families. Besides financial uncertainty, these families are more likely to be exposed to negative events and ‘bad luck,’ including illness, depression, eviction, job loss, criminal victimization, and family death.” Children of parents with limited post-secondary education may be less likely to pursue advanced education. Students recommended for mentoring often struggle academically and with attendance and social skills.
Never before has Grand Area Mentoring received so many mentee referrals from teachers, parents, and counselors. In response to the deluge in 2015/2016, Grand Area Mentoring has supported a record 85 matches to date.
Communities of similar size often have difficulty recruiting even half this number of mentors. Combining Moab’s generous citizens with children who most need guidance produces excellent results. Grand Area Mentoring consistently surpasses goals set by…