Advancing Youth Empowerment via School-Based Volunteerism
LifeWise Community, proudly serving at-risk youth since its beginning in 1992, continues to engage volunteer adult role models – all college students, to provide children of promise the needed strength and courage to succeed.
Taking the lead from the National Center on Dropout Prevention, LifeWise created Wildcat Youth Mentors during 2003, providing vulnerable students attending seacoast area middle schools with consistent trusted friendships throughout each academic year. This weekly one hour, “Power of Presence” combined with dedicated therapeutic listening from their assigned mentor allows each mentee to vent their emotions, lower their anxiety levels and to settle into a secure sense of belonging.
In every instance, measurements show that each youngster improves his/her attendance, social behavior and academic productivity. An impact study conducted by the Whittemore School of Business at UNH determined that at-risk youth experiencing our mentoring became self- actualized through improved individual self- image attitudes and behaviors, leading to overall sustainability of their newly discovered core strengths. LifeWise has the testimonials to support their claims that participants become prepared to graduate from high school*.
Over the years, hundreds of college level volunteers benefit from the Wildcat Youth Mentors service learning experience. They become “Work Ready” - due to the required combination of planning, caring, ownership, commitment and reliability. This is tough duty for young adults and good news for potential employers. **
Bruce Montville, UNH’59 is founder, president and CEO of LifeWise Community. He is formerly NH Director of Volunteerism and previously an executive from the employment services industry . Bruce can be reached at 603-929-0832, or email@example.com. For more information on the efforts of LifeWise Community, visit www.lifewise-nh.org
*The NH Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Wildcat Youth Mentors as a partner provider to adolescents under the protection of their Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
**The UNH Student Senate representing 12,000 students unanimously voted to partner with Wildcat Youth Mentors.
LifeWise Community has been an active member in NHBSR for several years. Recently, they participated in UNH’s Careers with Impact Fair and are encouraging Wildcat Youth Mentors to participate in UNH’s Net Impact Chapter to further support students in developing a lifelong community-involvement ethic. We applaud LifeWise Community’s efforts to empower students to help one another!