Many of us were fortunate enough to have had a mentor step into our lives during our difficult teen years, someone who treated us with respect and who earned our respect as well. Someone who valued our ideas, included us, and encouraged us to always do our best. Someone who taught us that doing the right thing and doing our best is just as important as being successful. Someone who gave us the courage to make tough decisions, the self-esteem to make smart choices and the confidence to be true to ourselves. Someone who spoke hope and truth over us, encouraging to reach the dreams that God has for our lives and praying for (and with!) us during difficult times.
For many of the at-risk youth at Casa de Luz, they do not have the opportunity for this mentorship and positive guidance in their lives. Because their single Mothers work long hours away from home in order to provide for the family, often children as young as 8 years old are left alone to ‘fend for themselves.’
In August 2015, CDL started a pilot project called the Youth Mentorship Program. CDL’s Youth Mentorship after-school program currently runs from 2:00 PM-5:30 PM, Monday – Friday. This program provides opportunities for positive mentorship for at-risk middle school CDL youth (ages 12-15) during after school hours, and providing a ‘bridge’ into La Hermosa. Young men and women also interact with positive role models, a friend to talk to, and receive opportunities for homework help and skill building.
The youth mentorship program strives to do the following: