The Funhouse Common’s Mentor Program is looking for youth mentors!

Submitted by the Funhouse Commons.

Orcas youth need your help! As Orcas students head back to school this month and they need community members to step up more than ever.

In the wake of the pandemic, The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that youth nationwide are experiencing a mental health crisis. By one measure in the Surgeon General’s report, more than 1 in 3 high schoolers reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, up 40% from a decade prior. Thankfully there is much that we as a community can do to help.

Research consistently shows that supportive growth-focused relationships are one of the most effective ways to help youth strengthen their emotional and mental health. The Funhouse Commons’ Mentor Program pairs adult volunteers in the community with young people who could use an extra caring adult in their lives. Mentors are trained in how to listen and talk with young people, how to help them process their emotions, and how to help them think about and plan for their futures.

Mentors and mentees hang out for an hour each week doing whatever the two of them choose. Local businesses have even chipped in and donated gift certificates to local eateries and amusements for mentors to enjoy with their mentees.

Unfortunately, the nature of the pandemic meant that when our youth most needed mentors in their lives, new volunteers were harder to come by. Hopefully now, with vaccines available and the virus less of an emergency and more of a regular concern we can plan for, adults in the Orcas community will step up as volunteer mentors. Please contact (or call 914-406-0386) if you are interested in learning more about becoming a mentor.

There is no better time than now to share the gift of your time with a local young person.