Indy Chamber News Archives
You can be a part of the continuum of care that is helping mentor and guide Indy youth to break the cycle of poverty. Find out how to get involved in Shepherd Community Center’s One-2-One mentoring program.
Shepherd Community Center is a faith-based non-profit organization that works with neighborhood youth and their families to break the cycle of poverty on the near Eastside of Indianapolis. We strive towards this goal through our Continuum of Care, a set of programs designed to support a child from when they are conceived to when they are 25 years old, with a key component being our One-2-One Mentoring program. It is an on-going, structured one-on-one friendship between a trusted, caring adult and an eager young person with similar interests. Our mentors are free to take their mentee to explore the city and do a variety of activities together in hopes of establishing a healthy relationship.
When people think of poverty, they often think of it in terms of finances. While there is certainly a financial aspect to poverty, there are many kinds of poverty and many different facets to them. One of the most prevalent issues in impoverished areas is emotional poverty-the lack of two parents in the household living ahealthy lifestyle.
The reality for neighborhood youth that Shepherd serves is that two out of three grow up with no father or an inconsistent one. A One-2-One mentor can help break the cycle of emotional poverty simply by being present. One-2-One Mentoring provides youth with a positive role model that can help them improve school attendance and achievement, practice goal-setting, and improve relationships with peers and adults.
The beauty of Shepherd’s One-2-One Mentoring program is that it works in conjunction with other programs in the Continuum of Care. Youth enrolled in One-2-One Mentoring must be involved in at least one other program from the Continuum, offering more support than standalone mentoring programs.
One-2-One youth benefit from our Academy or After-School and have access to many other programs such as Graduation & Beyond and our Health Clinic. The mentor comes alongside the staff that work with the child daily and are therefore not alone in supporting the child. The result is multiple significant, positive relationships that address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic needs of a child.
One-2-One currently features nearly 40 mentoring matches. All mentors are volunteers that commit to one to two hours per week for one year. The majority of mentoring matches continue beyond one year, with the hope of the relationship continuing as long as possible. Mentors, like our youth, come from many different backgrounds, which allows us to match them with youth we believe would thrive with them.
Many mentors report that mentoring a youth from a different background broadened their own horizons and deepened their understanding of other people and cultures. We have business owners, lawyers, pastors, teachers, health care professionals, and everyone in between mentoring our youth.
Together, with those involved in our Continuum of Care, we can help break the cycle of poverty on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.