Who was your mentor growing up? For as little as four hours a month you can have that same impact on someone in our community. WOWT is proud to join Midlands Mentoring Partnership (MMP) in celebrating August as Mentor Month.
Throughout August, MMP will be promoting the variety of mentoring opportunities in the Omaha area. The objective is to address common misconceptions about mentor eligibility, time commitment and other possible deterrents to becoming involved.
According to MMP research, more than 30,000 young people in the Omaha community and more than 80,000 youth across Nebraska are living below the poverty line. In the metro alone, the number of youth needing mentors greatly exceeds the available supply of volunteers to serve as mentors; the approximately 3,000 existing mentoring relationships serve only 10 percent of the youth in need of support from caring and positive adult role models.
A Mentor May Be:
A Mentor Is Not:
Omaha offers a variety of mentoring programs. They may be school-based or community-based, involve special populations based on culture or special interests, be one-on-one or group-oriented. The time commitment can be as little as four hours per month for nearly all programs, which may also accommodate couples who want to mentor together.
MMP's member organizations include 100 Black Men, Ally Mentoring Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Girls Inc. Pathfinder, Hope Center for Kids, Kids Can, Ollie Webb Center, Inc., Partnership 4 Kids, Release Ministries, TeamMates Mentoring Program and Youth Emergency Services (YES).
Von Bradley and Brandon Dittiger are a “match.” The mentor/mentee match has been together for over a year. While the two are pretty close and like to keep the relationship lighthearted, there are times that Dittiger, a high school senior , needs a father figure in his life to talk about what he calls "guys only stuff.”
"He was the first person to think about hey, I need to talk to somebody, I need to get out of the house, spend some time away from my mom,” said Dittiger. “Eventually he (Bradley) would give me advice, sit down with my mom, talk to her about I'm getting older, I need to start acting more of my age, I need to talk to her, talk to my mom face to face, more like an adult.”
"I believe we were at a coffee shop, I just remember giving him some alternative ways of looking at the situation, just trying to help him see things from his mother's point of view, understand that he could make an informed decision,” Bradley said.