A girl needs a positive role model and mentor as she starts the journey through life. A child in a single parent family can benefit by being mentored by a family ready to be a positive role model, and the child can see the real dynamics of relatively healthy relationships. A sober role model is important for a child in an alcoholic home. An employed or retired mentor can encourage a girl to be prepared to work hard. A mentor can prevent a young girl from having a lack of discipline and help her establish positive self esteem. You can start a mentoring group for girls yet it will take teamwork, networking and personal leadership to succeed.
Be prepared. Have your mission, your goals, your plan of action. Create first, second and third year plans. Be proactive. Find a member of your community who is willing to be your "poster child" -- someone who can speak on behalf of the young women in the community.
Gather community support. Host mentoring meetings with local churches, public service organizations and the chamber of commerce. Have a strong presentation. Plan to approach your local newspaper and media to talk about what you want to accomplish through your mentoring program. Identify the problems girls face in your community -- and how your mentoring group can help solve them.
Be prepared for people when they are ready to help. Some people may offer time. Some may offer money. Others may offer facilities for meetings or in-kind services of food or equipment. Find out talents of volunteers and encourage them to share those with the girls. Plan group meetings and events and outings. Be creative at fundraising. Hold galas and events that attract the community to mix passion and purpose, including golf tournaments, bowling competitions and dance competitions.
Provide training for the mentors. Offer resources online and in a group setting. Talk about your goals and have frequent "meet and greet" sessions where mentors can discuss their girls and problems they are having.
Create a "talent inventory" to detail what volunteers have to offer. Create a "needs inventory" for your mentoring group. Try to match volunteers with the needs.
Amanda Abernathy has written professionally since 1999. She specializes in writing about people, healthy living, fashion and travel and her feature articles have appeared in several nationally recognized publications. Abernathy studied communications at a Santa Barbara college.