Sonoma Valley's "Stand By Me" Mentoring Alliance
Dropouts, teen pregnancies, substance abuse and gangs are the four social epidemics that are plaguing today's youth. Research has concluded that mentoring has the highest positive outcome of any prevention/intervention program!
The Sonoma Valley's "Stand By Me" Mentoring Alliance is a non-profit corporation that matches at-risk kids in our schools with caring adult role models from the local community. Sonoma is in the forefront of the mentor movement. Currently, more than 400 children have a Mentor in their life. Mentors make a serious commitment and spend one-on-one quality time together in the Mentor Centers located on each of the school campuses. They work on improving the student's academic performance, as well as building a trusting, caring friendship. Often mentors and mentees get together off campus to pursue common interests and expose kids to new experiences. As a result of this relationship, mentors help to boost a child's self-esteem through mutual caring and respect. Many of these ‘pairs' have been together for more than 10 years already, and our hope is that their friendships will last a lifetime!
When mentee, Amanda, was asked for one quote that best described the way she feels about her mentor, she said, "To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."
We have no idea what life changes will be brought about for these children because of their involvement in mentoring. But this we do know - diversity is being celebrated, and we are bridging the gaps in the cultural divide. Our next goal is to encourage all of these children who are reaping the benefits of mentoring to come back after college graduation, and PAY IT FORWARD by becoming a mentor themselves...a wonderful way to pass it on!
One of our longest and most generous supporters has been the Infineon Raceway Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. The Mentoring Alliance is one of the beneficiaries of the annual NASCAR Grand Marshall Dinner, and over the years, we have received more than $250,000 in funding for our program! This is a partnership that we truly value and are extremely grateful for. In addition, Steve Page, President of Infineon Raceway, has been mentoring a child for the past 2+ years, as has his wife, Judy!