can make a difference!
Pictured are Rev. Dan May, left, with
Rev. Frank Goodpaster, right, holding a check for $5000
as they deposited it in the new account for Youth Connect
at The Friendship State Bank. The money was awarded to Youth
Connect by the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati,
through its Assistance for Substance Abuse Prevention center.
sequence of numbers such as todays date, 1/11/11, is being
used to highlight the success formula for mentoring: one adult,
mentoring one child, for at least one hour, at least once a week
for at least one school year.
As National Mentoring Month celebrates its 10th anniversary this
month, some Ripley County people have been working hard to get
A group of local churches and individuals from the faith community,
who have come together to promote mentoring and building developmental
assets for Ripley County youth, are now calling themselves Youth
Connect, according to Paula Goodpaster, who along with her husband,
Frank, are instrumental in getting the group in motion.
Youth Connect was born out of love for the next generation. Their
new brochure notes it is connecting our youth, adults and
community. That is the goal of the group. To build a bridge
between the young people to the community through training, supporting
and engaging mentors.
Board members for Youth Connect include Nancy Redelman, Solid
Rock Bible Fellowship; Rev. Karyl Leslie, St. Peter United Church
of Christ; Rev. James Culver, St. Paul Lutheran Church; Rev. Karen
Reynolds and husband, Dave, Rev. Roger Dean, Church on the Rock:
Frank and Paula Goodpaster, The Upper Room Fellowship; Dan May,
Church On The Rock; and Rev. John Halford, Grace Fellowship International.
These people have done the leg work, spending hundreds of hours
in training and research to launch Youth Connect.
They agree with the 1/11/11 concept, saying it just takes a short
amount of time to connect. You can find out more about how to
become a local mentor by stopping by your local library in the
month of January. Specific times are: tonight, January 11 at 7:00
p.m. at the Batesville Library; Saturday, January 15 at 12:30
p.m. at the Tyson Library in Versailles; Tuesday, January 25 Osgood
Public Library at 1:30 and at the Milan branch of the Osgood Public
Library at 4:00 p.m. that same day.
Through the workshops, training, and seminars, the Youth Connect
group found that Ripley County youth are no different than others,
they need mentors. They found that young people who are involved
in relationships with adult mentors are less likely to use drugs,
less likely to abuse alcohol, and less likely to be involved in
They also found that youth who are connected, have increased literary
skills, attend school on a more regular basis and are more likely
to graduate from high school and attend college.
Youth Connect has the firm belief that the faith community is
the place to start with effective mentoring. Pastor Dan May says
he has seen youth who were committed to attend and serve their
churches after graduating from high school are the ones who had
connected with an adult in that congregation. The valuable asset
of having a mentor could shape the future for some children.
Right now there are youth in Ripley County who are waiting to
be mentored. There are a number of youth at risk, many from single
parent homes and many who live in poverty. Sometimes parents just
need someone to come alongside them, and be an extra shoulder
for the children to lean on. You could be that person.
If you cant attend one of the information sessions at the
above mentioned libraries, you can contact 812-934-5192 or go
online at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first Basic Mentoring Workshop is set for January 29 at noon
at the Batesville Church on the Rock.