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Chances are you can recall someone who guided you in a formative stage of your life. Perhaps their advice, teaching, or encouragement influenced your career or other important aspects of your life.

Ask anyone who has achieved success in their life if they've had a mentor at some point, and most, we suspect, will say they have.

While parents are the chief architects of children's lives, mentors outside the household are incredibly important. And many children don't have one.

That's why January is recognized as National Mentoring Month.

Mentoring.org says young adults with a mentor are 55 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day at school, 78 percent more likely to volunteer more regularly, 90 percent are interested in becoming a mentor, and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions.

If you've had a mentor at some point of your life, you know the benefits mentorship can bring. However, whether you've benefited from a mentor or not, we ask you to consider mentoring a local youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jefferson City would be a good place to start. The organization pairs "bigs" — the mentors — with "littles" to develop positive relationships to develop the potential in each child.

BBBS said being a "big" means committing to spending a few hours a month with a young person participating in activities you both enjoy, like playing a sport, reading at the library or learning how to cook.

For more information, visit the BBBS Jefferson City website, bbbsjeffersoncity.org or call 573-634-3290.

Mentoring is a form of teaching and guiding, but, more importantly, it shows children that someone cares about them and their lives matter. Consider filling this role in a child's life.

News Tribune

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