YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Many of us were fortunate enough to have had a mentor step into our lives during our teen years, someone who treated us with respect and who earned our respect as well. A person who valued our ideas included us and encouraged us to always do our best. An adult 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, boosted our self-esteem to make wise choices and provided the confidence to be true to ourselves. An influencer who spoke hope and truth over us, encouraging us to reach for the dreams that God had for our lives and praying for (and with!) us during difficult times.
Many of the youth at Casa de Luz do not have the opportunity for mentorship and positive guidance in their lives. Their single Mothers work long hours away from home in order to provide for the family. Fathers are often not present. Children as young as 8 years old are left alone to ‘fend for themselves.’ Often times, this can leave these youth susceptible to the negative influences surrounding them – drugs, crime, and gang activity. Children often drop out of school and abandon education.
In August 2015, Casa de Luz began the Youth Mentorship Program which runs daily Monday – Friday. This program provides positive mentorship for at-risk middle school youth (ages 12-15) after school and provides a ‘bridge’ into La Hermosa Church. The Youth Mentorship program addresses issues such as self-esteem, relationships, discipleship, goal-setting and healthy lifestyle choices. Young men and women also interact with positive role models, develop a group of friends to talk to, and receive opportunities for homework help, skill building and community service.