Midland Mentors has been running for nine years and has matched adult mentors with 126 teens. The program serves our most at risk youth who are in a Day Treatment program at the Midland Juvenile Care Center. The program began with grants from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, and the Alden and Vada Dow Family Foundation and support from the state Child Care Fund. The program is now Court-funded. Statistics from various sources (The Legacy Center for Community Success, Big Brothers/Sisters) prove that kids with a mentor are 46% less likely to initiate drug use; 27% less likely to initiate alcohol use; 33% less likely to hit someone. Further, kids with mentors tend to have higher achievement in school and have better relationships with parents and peers. The program is best described in a letter one of our mentors sent to Judge Dorene S. Allen:
"Why do I mentor? Because by the grace of God, one man in a small Texas town 45 years ago decided to mentor me—a confused, lonely, teenager who was ready to give up. At the very time when I had not one healthy male role-model in my life, somebody, decided I was worth a few hours of his time. That mentoring relationship was the turning point in my life. It may have saved my life. I will never be too busy to care for a youth. It is my way of saying, "Thank you.""
Midland Mentors is a volunteer program focused on helping at-risk teenagers in the Juvenile Care Center Day Treatment Program by matching them with a caring adult who will spend time with them once a week for a year. Some activities shared by the mentoring pairs include racquetball, scrapbooking, watching movies, bow hunting, bowling, cooking, biking, and taking walks.
Quality relationships give young people an opportunity to talk about issues they face. A mentor acts as a sounding board, someone who may not have all the answers or the ability to fix problems, but who listens with empathy and compassion. Caring adults help teenagers succeed by providing support, friendship, and guidance. Mentors teach teenagers how to keep strong in difficult times, and in many cases they make the difference between success and failure.
For more information on becoming a Midland Mentor, contact the mentor coordinator , call the Juvenile Care Center at (989) 837-6080 or visit The Juvenile Care Center web page.