Philadelphia— The Achieving Independence Center (AI Center) will commence its Mentoring Month activities by hosting its 6th Annual Celebratory Luncheon for youth and their volunteer mentors. Guests will enjoy musical performances, poetry readings, dynamic speakers and gourmet food.
The Mentoring program is part of a larger effort by the AI Center to provide young adults in the foster care system with the tools and resources they need to lead successful and fulfilling lives as independents.The AI Center’s mentoring program-sponsored by PathWays PA- provides youth with an opportunity to be paired with caring adults that offer support, instill confidence, and encourage youth to pursue academic and professional opportunities. The mentors represent a diverse array of individuals who have committed to no less than a year of involvement and have dedicated at least four hours a month to spending time with their mentees.
This year, over 70 new matches occurred and over one hundred youth participated in both male and female mentoring activities. Every high school senior involved in the mentoring program graduated successfully. Six of the youth engaged in mentoring relationships joined the program director and helped co-facilitate a "Speak Up! Speak Out! Connect and Communicate" session about effective communication, labeling and barriers at the December 2008 Youth Development Conference entitled "Me, We, Us: The Bridge to the Future." In addition to participating in mentoring relationships with Adults, several of the youth have chosen to become mentors themselves. This year, six youth partnered with younger children in foster care as part of a peer mentoring initiative.
The luncheon will occur Saturday, January 24th from 1-4pm at Temple University—Student Activities Center (SAC) Annex Room 200A&B.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services is the City agency charged with protecting children from abuse, neglect, and delinquency; ensuring their safety and permanency in nurturing home environments; and strengthening and preserving families by enhancing community-based prevention services. In partnership with community organizations, DHS provides services to strengthen the overall well being of Philadelphia children, youth, and families using a customer focused approach that is responsive to evolving community needs.