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Youth mentoring takes hold in Los Alamos

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Many youth face seemingly adult problems growing up today in our fast-paced world. Familial and social problems such as custody disputes, loss of a parent, living in foster care, or witnessing substance abuse in the home can be difficult situations for any child.
Although Los Alamos is widely recognized as being an affluent area, many of these same problems occur here. Everyday pressures many children face are exacerbated by the expectation they need to keep up with their peers academically. Social challenges cause youth to experience despair and feeling they are not important.
Often times a child simply needs a caring adult to listen to their fears and demonstrate that everybody has problems but nobody should face their issues alone. Through mentoring, youth are able to move from risk to resiliency.
The Family YMCA in Los Alamos is answering the need for mentors in the Reach & Rise™ mentoring program. Reach & Rise is a therapeutic mentoring program which trains mentors to use counseling techniques to support children who otherwise would be lacking enough caring supports in their life.
Currently, Reach & Rise is recruiting volunteers to mentor children in the Los Alamos area with the first trainings beginning in May.
It doesn’t take any special skills or expertise to be a mentor, just a desire to listen and support a youth in need.
If you would like to apply to become a therapeutic mentor and effect positive change in a Los Alamos youth’s life contact Aaron Purtzer at apurtzer@laymca.org or 662-3100.
Aaron Purtzer
Los Alamos