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The Myths of Youth Empowerment

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Do you wonder if youth empowerment programs are actually effective? It still surprises me that within today’s modern society, youth mentorship and empowerment programs are still only slightly recognized as effective and positive ways to help educate and develop the skills of our youth’s nation. One may not recognize that clubs and programs such as Scouts, or Girl Guides are a type of youth mentorship program and are highly effective at promoting comradeship, team building skills, and personal development skills.

Similar to a school environment, these types of clubs and programs provide a safe haven, where our children can learn, study, socialize, and take advantage of new and exciting opportunities.

Studies, initiated by Big Brothers and Sisters of Canada, have shown that students enrolled in some type of mentorship or empowerment program have graduated at a rate 20% higher than average and that 78% of their students have improved their success in school and in business, compared to the leading national average.

Further research has proven that youth involved with some type of mentorship or empowerment program are:

1) five times as likely to graduate.
2) 46% less likely to get involved with the illegal use of drugs or “risky” behaviour.
3) 37% less likely to skip school

Furthermore, without being actively involved and having an adult figure in which to look up to, studies have shown that as many as 70% of our youth are more likely to be inclined to engage in some form of criminal activity.

Even with the above data, many people are still inclined to believe that youth empowerment and mentorship programs are a waste of money, are ineffective, or exploit some form of brain washing upon the students. If this were true, would some of the strongest youth mentorship and empowerment programs be backed by some of today’s most successful and largest companies such as: Chrysler Financial, DTE Energy, Daimler Financial Services, Humana, and many others? The answer is no. These companies have chosen to sponsor such programs because they work. Mentorship and Empowerment programs have helped produce some of today’s finest world leaders, speakers, and business proprietors in the world.

Let’s look at an example:

If a person is afraid to public speak and yet needs these skills in order to advance in their career, then more than likely they will join some sort of class or community based group in which to practice. As they practice, their confidence will grow and the task of public speaking will become easier. Believe it or not, but this too is a specific type of mentorship program. It provides support and guidance in order to develop and build upon a skill. It’s that simple really.