Personal Reflections from the President & CEO

Danielle N. Hartman, MNM
President & CEO

According to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions, most of which focus on our own needs or wants. Popular resolutions include: losing weight, getting organized, learning something new, quitting smoking and spending more time with family. While the intention to adhere to resolutions may be good, less than half last more than six months.

In addition to any resolutions you may have for 2016, I propose you add one more to your list that focuses on helping others, one that makes a tremendous impact. Become a mentor to a child in our community through JFS’ Community Mentoring Program. January is National Mentoring Month. Many children in south Palm Beach County can benefit from an impartial, trusted, role model. Mentors truly make a difference in a child’s life providing encouragement and building their confidence along their journey to become productive adults.

Mentors are carefully screened and must pass a level 2 background check, have a safe driving history, provide personal references and interview with professional program staff. Additional requirements include: being a minimum of 21 years old, spending at least of 4 hours per month with mentee, and make a one year commitment to the Program. JFS provides an orientation session, and ongoing support and workshops throughout the year.

According to the United Way, students who participate in mentor relationships miss fewer school days, are less likely to participate in negative behaviors and more likely to graduate on time. By allocating just four hours per month you can help a child become:

• 52% less likely to skip a day of school

• 37% less likely to skip a class

• 46% less likely to start using drugs

• 27% less likely to start drinking

• 33% less likely to hit someone

The children are not the only ones who benefit from the mentoring relationship. Mentors receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction knowing how much they positively impact the life of a child. Shari, a mentor in JFS’ Community Mentoring Program for the past 7 years has shared her experience. “I have done a lot of volunteering in my life but being a mentor has been, by far, the most rewarding of all. When I first started spending time with Sarah 7 years ago, she was a little behind in school. After dedicating some of our time together reviewing her school work, I am happy to say she is now taking some honors classes! Sarah is now 15 and we enjoy spending time together. The mentoring program is invaluable. I truly believe that it fills a void on both sides of the relationship. I have 2 sons. Sarah is like the daughter I never had. For Sarah, she lives with her sister and her father so I am the maternal figure in her life. Sarah was a bridesmaid at my son’s wedding. She will be a part of our family forever.”

For additional information on the Community Mentoring Program, contact Nadine Greenberg, Director of Volunteer Services at 561.852.3333 or nadineg@ralesjfs.org.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

B'Shalom

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