Be a role model for youth

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Many local residents have expressed concern over the past year or so concerning the amount of crime in our area.

One way to reduce crime is to make connection with young people early – before they become involved in a criminal lifestyle.

The Triangle Mentoring Program at the YMCA’s Claude C. Brown Family Center needs your help.

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There are currently 42 mentors who are serving as role models for local youth, but more are needed. There are young people on a waiting list who do not currently have mentors.

In fact, Nikki Solomon, enrollment match specialist/coordinator with the Claude C. Brown Family Center, would like to have 60 mentors by March.

Mentors work with children grades 6-8.

Beginning her second year, Solomon said she is already seeing results from The Triangle Mentoring Program.

Mentors have to be at least 18, and can sign up at any time.

Mentors go to the movies, go shopping, out to eat and attend the monthly activities together.

This Saturday they’re going to the Civil Rights Museum in Montgomery and the Wall of Tolerance.

The commitment is for an hour a week, over a 12-month period.

According to Solomon, research shows that participants in the program are:

Less likely to begin using illegal drugs and alcohol,

Less likely to skip school,

More confident in their schoolwork,

Get along better within their families.

Instead of just complaining about a problem, why not do something about it. Volunteer to be a mentor, and be a positive influence in the life of a young person.