Youth Frontiers youth mentoring program 2019

Jasmine and Lilee (Bellingen High) and Caroline Thomas (mentor) organised for soft toys to be placed in police cars to comfort traumatised young children as a Youth Frontiers project in 2017
Jasmine and Lilee (Bellingen High) and Caroline Thomas (mentor) organised for soft toys to be placed in police cars to comfort traumatised young children as a Youth Frontiers project in 2017

Mid Coast Communities is once again proudly partnering with YWCA Australia to bring the Youth Frontiers youth mentoring program to the Mid North Coast.

The Youth Frontiers program supports selected students from 12 to 16 years of age to build life skills and self-confidence.

Mentees work collaboratively with their mentors to undertake a community project that makes a positive difference in their local community.

Mid Coast Communities is looking for volunteer mentors to work one-on-one with students in the Kempsey, Nambucca and Bellingen areas.

Ruth Thompson, CEO of Mid Coast Communities explained that in the Youth Frontiers program, the mentor's main purpose is to help a young person define goals for a community engagement project and find ways to achieve them.

"Although mentors can fill any number of different roles, all mentors have the same goal to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths. Mentors are not meant to replace a parent, guardian or teacher - they echo the positive values of parents and guardians."

Last year's projects in Bellingen included a Manga comic strip about being bullied at school; looking at waste and how it impacts the environment; girls-only self defence; and expressing emotions through art.

Since the expectations of each young person will vary, the mentor's job is to encourage the development of a flexible relationship that responds to both the mentor's and the mentee's needs.

By sharing fun activities and exposing a young person to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas.

Previous mentoring experience is not required and people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences are sought to meet the varied passions, interests and ideas of young mentees.

Whether you have an interest in the arts, sports, welfare, business, music, environment, education, film-making, building, event management, food, culture, history or simply 'making a difference', you are encouraged to sign up. You must be aged over 18 and be available to mentor a young person for up to two hours per week over two school terms.

Mentors will be matched with an individual student and together will take part in a minimum of 35 hours of mentoring over a six-month period, including facilitated group sessions and one-on-one mentoring sessions guided by a structured workbook.

Register to be a mentor online at www.midcoastcommunities.org.au/services/youth-frontiers/ or by calling Sharnie Cooper at Mid Coast Communities on (02) 6516 1925 or emailing youthfrontiers@midcc.org.au