72% of children in the City of Rochester grow up in a single-parent home.*
That statistic is staggering, and it has only gotten worse. Twenty years ago that number was 62%. And this is important. Not only do single-parent families experience more stress and economic strain than dual-parent households with two incomes, but children in these families can be at risk of poorer health and educational outcomes among other things. Said another way, with only one parent to do everything, young men often don’t get the attention and instruction they need to get their best start in life.
* According to the US Census Bureau, as reported by ACT Rochester
For example, the latest data from the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Justice demonstrate that children from fatherless homes are:
But that isn’t to say that this program is only for young men living in a single family home. Maybe both parents are present, but communication is difficult or one or both parents have work shifts that often make them unavailable. Maybe the child is being raised by grandparents and they don’t have relevant life experience for what the child is going through. Regardless of why a young man needs an extra positive influence in his life, Link Mentorship is able to provide that resource.
Link Mentorship mobilizes the church by connecting mentors with youth while sharing the love of Jesus.
Link Mentorship seeks to change the trajectory of boys lives by introducing a safe, beneficial male presence that augments the family structure they live in. Coming from a wide-range of local area churches, these mentors have a heart to see young men in the city flourish and are background checked and trained to be a valuable asset to these young men.
A mentor isn’t designed to replace a child’s father. Think of this person as being more like an uncle or close family friend filled with wisdom and character who wants to invest into the life of his “nephew”. They help teach and reinforce life lessons, celebrate successes and are available to step in to help when the child faces hardships or challenges.
What does that look like?
- Weekly communication by phone, text or in person as the parent feels comfortable
- Opportunities to attend sporting events, hang out on the weekends or attend school functions
- 5-8 hours of contact each month with a 1 year minimum commitment
- The possibilities are endless, but it all starts with a mentor who sees and affirms the value of a young man and who makes himself available to speak into that young man’s life
Link Youth Mentorship is a ministry of Flower City Outreach, Inc.