Submitted by San Juan Family Resource Center
January is National Mentoring Month and the mentoring program through the San Juan Island Family Resource Center is going strong.
Mentoring has made a positive impact for the children enrolled in the program, and guarantees to a young person that there is a non-family member who cares about them and that they are not alone in their day-to-day challenges. Due to the rural island demographic, many children are raised here with no extended family. Research clearly shows that even children who have experienced great stress and adversity are significantly more resilient if they establish a close bond with at least one caring adult. The age range for this program is 7-17 years old.
With generous funding from the community, the mentor program is also able to provide group activities, such as bowling and swim lessons. When mentors volunteer comprehensive screening, training, and on-going support is provided.
As the New Year begins, Barbara Ellis will be retiring as the program coordinator and passing the torch to Ashley Strutz who is also the program coordinator for the SJIFRC’s Island Neighbors program, a volunteer-based community outreach program for seniors and persons with disabilities. Strutz is excited to be taking over the mentor program and having the unique opportunity to work with all ages in the community. The mentor program is always looking for new volunteers and at this time have a couple of children waiting to find that special person to create a new and meaningful relationship. To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community, and exciting volunteer opportunities contact the SJIFRC at 360-378-5246.