Power 4 Youth Mentoring Program

Goal

Mentors meet one-on-one weekly at supervised church sites with the goal of helping the students to achieve academically by addressing the underlying issues that are keeping the students from doing their best.

Mentor/mentee pairs work on building academic skills, literacy, time management, class behaviors, and strengthening life skills. They get to know each other and build a relationship—often becoming the most important motivation for the youth. Mentors are matched with middle school students, and many relationships continue into high school and adulthood.

In 2016, Power 4 Youth seeks to expand its program, building upon its solid foundation to move into the “post-recession” world, and correspondingly increasing the budget by approximately 25%.

We are seeking funding to assist as we add and strengthen several components to the program in the coming year. For example, we hope to add a technology component to the mix—something we are woefully lacking. This would include creating a vibrant social media presence (increasingly important—especially as we serve youth and more and more of our mentors are of the millennial generation!), updating computers (the students often start their mentoring sessions by checking grades/schoolwork online with their mentors…at this time this sadly is often hinging on our aged, hand-me-down computers working properly) and software.

We hope to commit additional resources to reaching into more neighborhoods and schools, expand mentor training and retention efforts, and provide more a robust college-readiness program to the youth.

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Story

Power 4 Youth (P4Y) is an academic mentoring program for struggling, at-risk teens.

Power 4 Youth began as a project of the Los Ranchos Presbytery. In response to the Los Angeles riots of the ’90s, the Long Beach Presbyterian Pastors got together to try to understand what might have caused such a breakdown of community. They identified a need to help teens overcome adversity.

In 1999 they started a grassroots effort to reach kids “on the edge” – those who were not in trouble, but whose success depended on having a positive influence to balance the negative challenges they faced in their lives. The pastors formed Power 4 Youth with 6 at-risk student/adult mentor pairs. Over the next 10 years the program steadily grew, prompting a decision to incorporate Power 4 Youth as its own 501(c)3 nonprofit agency.

With the blessing and continued support from the Long Beach churches, Power 4 Youth received its nonprofit designation in October 2008.

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Because of You

The entire mission of Power 4 Youth is to reach youth that are experiencing multiple at- risk factors, to reach out to those in need, to help those struggling with poverty, single- parents, substance abuse in the home, incarcerated family members, foster care. Power 4 Youth was founded to do Jesus’ work in a very direct way, to put His example of helping those in need into practice by giving youth concrete skills, and also providing hope to young people who may have been feeling hopeless.

Research indicates (and P4Y students bear this out), that teenagers in one-on-one mentor relationships have lower incidences of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and trouble with the law; and a greater number stay in school and graduate, than do teens with the same risk factors with no adult mentor. Without the help of P4Y mentors, many of the youth would “fall through the cracks.” Mentoring is a very basic concept, but it has a proven track record of improving the education level and life-long success of its participants.

Your support helps us continue this important work to serve at risk inner city youth in our communities.