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A past group of youth participating in a mentoring circle. Photo courtesy of Sarah Kreisman

Mentors help local youth succeed

Rogue Valley Mentoring is offering a two-day youth “Mentoring Essentials” workshop this Friday and Saturday. The Ashland-based organization, previously known as the Rose Circle Mentoring Network, connects trained adults with youth of all demographics, ages 10-24, within the Rogue Valley. The workshop is from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Central Medford High School, 815 S. Oakdale Ave.

The training is required for anyone wishing to volunteer with the organization, but also can be a great tool for any adult who commonly interacts with youth, Executive Director Sarah Kreisman said.

“It’s a deeply profound self-experience that comes from this workshop,” Kreisman said. “And you get to meet other interesting people who are doing great work in the community.”

“Research shows that youths who receive mentoring are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions,” Kreisman said.

The training focuses on improving interpersonal skills, communication, relationship building, active listening skills and practices such as healthy boundaries and developmental nourishment.

Volunteers work one-on-one with kids after a match process, but also can work in circles.

The mentor’s role is to “deeply listen” while participating in age-appropriate activities with the mentees.

“One out of three young people don’t have a trusted adult they can turn to for advice,” Kreisman said.

The organization also works closely with various schools and Boys and Girls Clubs. She said the organization is expanding to more of the Rogue Valley this year and creating more focus groups such as an LGBTQIA group.

She said there’s a surprising amount of kids scoring high on the ACE (adverse childhood experience questionnaire) scale in the Rogue Valley. Rating high on this questionnaire highly increases negative health and mental risks such as diabetes and alcoholism.

Kreisman said there’s currently a wait list for youth who are looking for mentoring, and she’s hoping that this workshop will help fill that need.

Youths interested in a mentor should call the organization at 541-708-6688.

The cost of the workshop is between $25-100, on a sliding scale, for volunteers, and $150 for individuals. Some financial assistance is available.

To register for the workshop and for more information, visit rvmentoring.org or call 541-708-6688.

Contact Daily Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

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