There is truth in the idea that it takes a whole village to raise a child.  The challenges facing our families and our youth are often daunting.   According to MENTOR, nearly half the population of young people, 8-21 are in situations putting them at risk for not reaching their potential (www.mentoring.org).   Forty percent (40%) of youth say they want more adults to whom they can turn to for help and support in their lives (www.americaspromise.org).  One way this need can be filled is through involving youth in quality mentoring programs.

Mentoring programs partner youth with a caring person who can offer guidance, support, encouragement and friendship.  By spending a few hours a month over the course of a year or more, a mentor can make a significant impact in the life of a young person, while also having a lot of fun. Youth who have mentors:

  • Do better in school
  • Have better school attendance
  • Feel better about school
  • Have better relationships with their family and friends
  • Communicate better
  • Are less at risk for substance abuse and other negative behaviors

In general, mentoring builds upon a youth’s strengths while offering protective factors to negative influences around them. The benefits of mentoring are great.  So is the need for volunteers to be mentors. Nationally, for every child that does have a mentor, five more are in need of one. A significant percentage of those are boys in need of a positive, male role model.

Getting involved in mentoring is easy!  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western New Hampshire is matching youth and mentors throughout the Monadnock, Upper Valley and Sullivan County regions.  Adults can volunteer for the Community-Based program.  High-school and college students can volunteer for the Site-Based program.  Hanging out, having fun for just a few hours a month can make the difference of a lifetime.  To get started being a mentor, call 603-263-0849 or visit our website at www.bbbswnh.org.

Turning Points Network

Through our direct services program, TPN is working with the community to assist survivors in achieving economic independence (see personal story inside).  With the help of local employers, colleges, community agencies, private individuals and landlords, we will be able

to help survivors gain meaningful employment and careers. Survivors need never return to an abusive partner because they cannot afford to provide for their children and themselves.

Secondly, as one of five federal pilot projects, TPN will work with a trauma specialist to enhance its shelter, crisis intervention and support services to survivors who have a mental illness or who are abusing substances. This project is in response to the excessively high correlation (up to 85 %) between the trauma of sexual and domestic violence and the development of mental health and addictive disorders as a result of the trauma.

Our prevention education staff are developing new curricula for grades 5-8 and updating all curricula to include relational aggression. The educators have also developed training for school faculty and staff on relational aggression.

Trainings for businesses are being developed on Sexual Harassment and Domestic Violence in the Workplace.  Through our development program, we are meeting with groups of prospective donors around the county to help us raise $122,000 in contributions this year, an increase of 100%. This increase is a direct result of decreased grant funds and a sharp increase in the community’s need for our services. Please call us if you would like to host a donor gathering.

For more than 30 years, TPN has been a voice and an advocate for survivors of violence in Sullivan County.  Much of what our students and community residents know about domestic, sexual and stalking violence, they know because of Turning Points Network. With your help, we will remain strong in our empowerment, advocacy, prevention and collaboration efforts, all of which are the heart of our work.

Because you are receiving this newsletter, you are already a friend of TPN. Your continued support as a volunteer, your in-kind donation and/or financial contribution will provide safety and hope and will be greatly valued.

Sincerely,

Deborah J. Mozden

Executive Director

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