National Mentoring Month at the Y
When you have a desire to make a difference, anything is possible. This January for National Mentoring Month, the adult mentors of the Reach & Rise® mentoring program, along with their youth mentees, attended their first group outing of the year: A Golden State Warriors basketball game.
Reach & Rise® helps Bay Area youth ages 6-18 develop tools to cope with issues such as low self-esteem, family and peer conflicts, academic underachievement and decision-making skills through a positive adult-child relationship.
Volunteer mentors meet with mentees once each week to support them with challenges occurring in their lives while engaging in enriching community activities. Mentors don’t need any special skills, just a desire to make a difference.
A Great Opportunity
THE WARRIORS GAME
Everyone attending the game was beyond excited and ecstatic to be at the Oracle Arena watching the Warriors game. For many of the mentees, and even some mentors, this was the first time they had attended a large sporting event.
As the Reach & Rise National Director, Jennifer Kriebl appreciates the number of “firsts” that the mentor can provide: “One of the best outcomes of the program is that youth experience new opportunities and see alternatives that they may not have if it was not for their mentors and the program.”
Homemade signs and an abundance of screams and enthusiasm made the YMCA of San Francisco attendees one loud cheering section.
“Experiencing this unforgettable night with the mentees has helped connect our mentors more closely to this program," says Reach & Rise Program Director, Jazzica Donida.
The Y group also enjoyed a pre-game tour and the chance to get an close-up view of the players during their warm-ups and pre-game shoot-around.
“It was awesome. I was on the jumbo screen, I got to see Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and he also shot a three-pointer,” remembers mentee Jay-Lah.
Why It Matters
THE WHITE HOUSE & THE NBA
The Reach & Rise mentoring program takes pride in the Warriors’ commitment to former President Obama’s call to action around the importance of mentoring. “My Brother’s Keeper,” like the Reach & Rise mentoring program, is keeping youth on track.
The Golden State Warriors illustrate why they inspire, teach, and strengthen youth every day. Just like the Warriors act as real life mentors to many youth, the YMCA and its mentors are committed to empowering personal and social change.
As the White House says, you don’t need to be an NBA star to be someone’s hero.