Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant, there is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.
—Johann Gottfried Von Herder
Kids are Hurting
Our world has changed over the years. Today, many kids simply have few or no positive adults present in their lives to encourage them, inspire them, and help them make good choices. Ignite Youth Mentoring wants to bring hope of a better future and help to navigate the challenges of growing up through caring adult role models!
IYM Wants to Change the World
To bring hope of a better future, IYM has built a strong program that recruits fun and positive adults, placing them with kids who need helpful and encouraging role models, in a one-to-one mentoring friendship. Mentors meet with their “mentees” twice a month, walking through life together, growing through both ups and downs. They enjoy activities of their choice, on their own schedule, and have fun experiencing new adventures and opportunities to show kids a new world.
…those who reported having had a mentoring relationship during adolescence exhibited signiﬁcantly better outcomes within the domains of education and work (high-school completion, college attendance, employment), mental health (self-esteem, life satisfaction), problem behavior (gang membership, ﬁghting, risk taking), and health (exercise, birth control use).
IYM’s Purpose is “To empower young people to find hope and safety through adult mentors who will help them form strong values, develop social and job-related skills, and discover God’s purpose for their lives.”
Goals & Objectives
Our Program Standards reflect our desire to partner with the Faith community and meet kids’ needs. All mentors must agree to strive for these:
- Meet with my mentee 4-6 hours twice a month for minimum of 1 year
- Seek to please God in all areas of our life i.e. words, reactions, choices of entertainment.
- Live by scriptural principles found in Ephesians 4:17-5:21 and Ignite Youth Mentoring’s Statement of Belief.
- Share my life and words in a way that reflects the Gospel.
- Make choices that will reflect an excellent example and avoid being a stumbling block. Many children struggle with things such as drugs, alcohol, sexuality and poor relationship/social skills. It is essential to set positive examples and avoid confusing messages. In all areas, it is imperative to set the example of Biblical obedience.
- Refrain from any activity that may cause any physical, sexual or emotional harm to my mentee.
- Grow in my relationship with God through prayer, scripture reading, fellowship and involvement in my church.
Our Statement of Belief is formed from our church and Biblical grounding:
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons:
- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood…
- In His bodily resurrection, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe in the resurrection of the saved to eternal life, and the everlasting punishment of those who have rejected God’s forgiveness in His Son.
- We strive to contribute to achieve greater unity in all that we do within the Body of Christ.
Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring
IYM fully adheres to the guidelines and standards found within this national gold standard.
As a strategy for helping young people succeed in school, work and life, mentoring works. It helps give young people the confidence, resources and support they need to achieve their potential. But, the fact is this: these positive outcomes are only possible when young people are engaged in high-quality mentoring relationships. The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring holds the key to success in producing high-quality relationships.
The 40 Developmental Assets
IYM aims to bring about positive holistic change in each child participating in our program. The most effective way to do this is to provide an adult mentor who is there for them, no matter the challenge, difficult situation, or life question.
To best equip our mentors we use a tool that helps us examine the needs of each child. “The 40 Developmental Assets” is a resource that was developed by the Search Institute. Each child needs as many of these 40 life assets as possible to become a sound and successful adult. Of our nations children, nearly 6 out of 10 have less than 20 of these, and only 8% have more than 30*. These assets cover both internal and external, and span eight different areas, including: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity.
History of IYM
The idea of IYM started in 2007 with a handful of interested community members, under the leadership of Pastor Todd Kleppin. Noticing a rise of youth troubles in the community, an examination of the impact of youth mentoring was conducted. With many national studies and books on the subject available, it was realized that this was a direction God was calling this group towards. A few of the team members attended the Christian Mentoring Institute, offered by the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring (CAYM) and Ignite Youth Mentoring was soon born.
Our first training of mentors was held at Central Church, of Richland, WA, in early 2008 and shortly thereafter the first mentoring matches were made. At the end of that year IYM was proudly named the 2008 National Mentoring Program of the Year by the CAYM.
In the fall of 2009 the IYM Board of Directors decided that for IYM to realize our goals we must launch our program as a stand-alone non-profit organization. In the spring of 2010 we began work towards this end and on January 1st, 2011 IYM opened its doors to the public as its own organization, serving the greater Tri-Cities area.