Special Friends is the youth mentoring program of Youth Alternatives. We provide adult volunteer mentors for youth, ages 6 - 14 in Cheyenne and the surrounding areas. Most of the youth in the Special Friends program come from low-income, single-parent families or are involved in counseling or court services at Youth Alternatives.
Mentors spend at least three hours a week with their mentee for a period of six months to a year. We have almost 100 volunteers from all walks of life and they volunteer in many capacities, but most are one-to-one mentors. Our volunteers are dedicated to the youth of your community. We have many who have been in the program for a dozen years or more.
Being a mentor isn’t hard and it might just be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. By being a mentor you can help a young person discover a world of possibilities and opportunities.
The most important part of being a Special Friend is being a genuine friend to a young person from the community. As a Special Friend, you become a child’s hero just by sharing everyday activities such as:
- playing sports, going to movies, making a meal together, helping with homework, visiting local places of interest, washing a car or sharing yard work, taking walks, volunteering somewhere together, OR Just Hang Out Together!
So Why Be A Mentor?
Throughout the mentoring process, a trusting and meaningful relationship is developed between an adult and a youth. This relationship is often the one constant, positive thing in the youth’s life. Studies have shown that youth who have mentors also have:
- Better school attendance!
- Increased chances of a higher education!
- Improved grades!
- Lower substance use and abuse!
- Less violent behavior!
- A more positive attitude toward school!
- A more positive attitude toward the elderly!
- A more positive attitude toward the future!
Want to learn more about becoming a Special Friend? Continue to the What Does it Take page.