The Covid19 pandemic has been a source of trauma for many people across our country for the past sixteen months. Things that, prior to covid, seemed like small issues have at times felt insurmountable.
According to the 2019 Healthy Colorado Kids Survey, “high school students experiencing symptoms of clinical depression has increased since 2017, to nearly 35% of students. Data also shows concerning increases in the share of students reporting suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.” The role of a mentor has never been more important.
The great news here in Chaffee County is that mentors of high integrity and care are answering the call to invest in a young persons’ life once again and young people are desiring to engage with adults in meaningful and healthy relationships. A favorable result of the pandemic is that some people have shifted their priorities to make space in their lives for the betterment of others. Even though movement has been slow at times, the pendulum is swinging back in a positive direction and we are gaining momentum.
To this point in 2021, Chaffee County Mentors has served 32 adult to youth matches. While the presence of Covid19 did contribute to a freeze on making matches from March through September in 2020, there is reason to be optimistic moving forward. In fact, we may have reached a new benchmark during a ten day stretch towards the end of June. During t
his time period, six new adult to youth matches were made and we are happy to report that a handful of additional new matches are poised to be formed in July and August. Our goal is to manage 40 matches during a calendar year and what once seemed like a distant dream now seems to be very much within reach.
A heartfelt and well-deserved thank you to all of our mentors and mentees. Choosing to allow your life to intersect with another can illicit feelings of fear and inadequacy. However, once you check these bags at the door, you realize just how much the risk was worth it. Thank you to our matches who have stayed the course even when it was difficult. A thank you in advance to our future mentors and mentees-your adventure awaits!
Kenny Wilcox, is a Youth Program. Kenny can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719.221.0238