The Boca Raton Police Athletic League is pleased to announce it has received funding to establish a mentoring program. With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, the National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Inc. is providing program awards to 135 PAL Chapters.Boca PAL is pleased to have been selected as one of the 135 grant recipients for this exciting program. PAL staff will participate in a two-day national training for the development and implementation of the PAL’s new Mentoring Program in April.
The Mentoring Program involves recruiting volunteer Mentors who will be matched with a youth Mentee. Volunteer Mentors agree to meet with their Mentee at the Chapter for at least one hour per week for one year. Besides offering friendship and a listening ear, Mentors and Mentees will engage in a variety of fun and meaningful activities individually and in groups. With the support of the award funds, the Chapter has hired a Mentor Program Coordinator who will oversee the initiative.
It has been demonstrated that a trusting relationship with a caring adult can have a life-changing effect on a young person. Research data indicates that mentoring programs have reduced first-time drug use by almost 50% and first-time alcohol use by 33%. In addition, mentored youth displayed greater confidence in their schoolwork and improved their academic performance.
Q. If I sign up to be a mentor, exactly what will I be doing?
A. We have found that many people have reservations about being a mentor because they are afraid they won’t know what to do with their assigned child. Our program is designed to have structured activities for you to choose from. Each day is planned in advance, and you can choose to come in at a time when we have activities scheduled that you enjoy. Activities are quite varied and include computer training, arts/crafts, field trips, sports activities, homework assistance, as well as many other opportunities. However, mentors/mentees always have the option of choosing not to participate in the planned activity, and rather working on something else they both enjoy. Some mentors/mentees with shared interests choose to launch a long project together, some just like to talk. It’s completely up to you. Just know that we have choices available, and you will never be left wondering “what should we do?”
Q. What time of the day do I need to be available to mentor?
A. During the summer, you can come in any time between 8 am and 8 pm. During the school year, you can schedule your sessions between 2 pm and 8 pm. It’s completely on your schedule. The only thing we ask is that you pick a consistent time, and let us know if you aren’t going to make it for some reason. During orientation you will receive our schedule of activities, and may choose to schedule your mentoring sessions in accordance with the group plans.
Q. What is my time commitment?
A. We are requesting that mentors spend 1 hour a week with their assigned child, for a period of 12 months. Many children bond with their mentors, and it is important to remain consistent and reliable for their sake.
Q. How old do you have to be to mentor?
A. Our minimum age for mentors is 16 years old (yes we will give you community service credits for school). We would be thrilled to recruit senior citizens to mentor, and working adults. In addition, some couples choose to mentor together.
Ready to Apply?
We know you are busy people. Therefore, mentoring happens on YOUR schedule. As a volunteer, the only thing that must be completed on our schedule is the two-hour orientation/training session. Sessions will be offered: – Wednesday, May 19th (from 6:30pm – 8:30 pm) – Saturday, May 22nd (from 10 AM – 12 PM) Please contact us for more information at email@example.com.