Do you remember a teacher who encouraged you and worked with you on a goal? A scout leader who you could talk to about your problems? Your mom’s sister (your aunt) who was always available to you and shared special events and adventures.

Everyone has had someone in their lives who encouraged and cheered them on, exposed them to new experiences and proficiencies. They might have mentored at a very critical time of life, or just in the everyday occurrences of maturation.

Have you ever thought of mentoring a young person? Madison County Community Action Partnership (CAP) has just the program for you. The CAP Mentoring Program has been operating in the county since 2003. There are currently 20-30 children on waiting lists who would benefit greatly from a mentoring relationship.

Some quotes from recent matches made in the Volunteer Mentoring Program include: “You are the best friend I’ve ever had” from a quiet 10-year-old who had been bullied at school that year. Another young man said “I have met new people, gone places I probably never would have!”

Mentors in the program agree. “I have done activities with my mentee that I haven’t done in years like bowling, hiking, picking strawberries and much more,’ said one mentor. “We are both in the CAP book club together. It’s really fun!”

It’s a win-win situation with the mentors and mentees both deriving their own fulfillment and satisfaction. Just two hours a month would allow you to share your interests, abilities, talents and gifts with a young person (aged 8-16) who could greatly benefit from the interaction. Every effort is made to match youth and their mentors in a similar geographical part of the county. Activities can range from baking, homework assistance, outdoor experiences, visiting libraries, games and even field trips with the group as planned monthly by CAP’s professional staff.

To find out more about CAP’s Mentoring Program, call Cory at 315-697-3588 extension 44 to schedule a meeting.