We all love our communities and value supporting those things that continue to make our communities what they are. Being able to walk down a main street and stop in at the florist shop run by your neighbor, the 3rd generation paint store, or the hardware store you worked at as a kid, is an experience that helps shape our sense of community. By buying from these businesses we are helping to create jobs, promote economic stability, keep our money in our communities, and keep the American Dream alive.
There is another aspect of supporting our communities that does not cost the individual anything but pays out massive dividends in the health of our communities. That is mentoring our youth.
$306, 906 = the cost of a life-time of support for someone who does not graduate from high school
$4,100 = the loss in state and federal tax revenue in the local community for one unemployed adult (3)
“Young adults who are not connected cost society $93 billion annually in lost wages, taxes, and social services. However, it is estimated that every dollar invested in quality youth mentoring programs yields a $3 return in benefits to society.” (1) Mentoring could mean the difference between going to college or dropping out of High School for many of our young people – in fact at risk youth with a mentor are 55% more likely to go to college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, 90% more likely to become a mentor themselves, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions! (2)
Mentoring has many benefits for the mentor as well. Individuals who are engaged in a mentoring relationship develop soft skills that are critical to success. Skills such as communication and empathy. A 2015 study published by MENTOR found that businesses who engaged in supporting mentoring programs or encouraged their employees to be involved saw 3 key benefits: (3)
· Employee engagement, satisfaction, retention
fulfilled employees who are connected to a larger purpose are more productive and more likely to stay at current job
· Cultivating and developing future workforce
potential future employees
· Supporting vibrant communities
which includes their customers and potential customers
“Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.” (4) Programs like Be The One are supported entirely by community members like you who take one hour out of your week to meet with one student, and local businesses who believe in our community and our youth.
As you are out and about in our beautiful community take the time to thank our sponsors for supporting the work of Be The One and if you are not a mentor yet please consider becoming one! I could be the easiest and best investment you make.