Thoughtful Parenting: The value of a mentor |

Thoughtful Parenting: The value of a mentor

Erin Miller
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

As you look back on your life, who has made the biggest impact in it? Was it a teacher? A coach? A boss? A supervisor? A pastor? All of these people could be categorized in one word: mentor.

The value of a trusted adult in a youth’s life is unparallel; I can speak from experience. I had mentors that helped shape my life while I was navigating adolescence. One mentor in particular was the person I called when I had questions about substance use, problems with my friends, hardships in my family and so much more. Her role in my life cannot be categorized as anything less than a gift. She was kind, supportive, encouraging and challenged me when I needed it. Fifteen years later, we are now friends, and I see her on a regular basis. 

We see the impact of mentoring on a regular basis. Junior Partners tell us how much they appreciate their Senior Partners being in their lives. Senior Partners get to see their Junior Partners grow into amazing people. Parents consistently tell us they see a difference in their child’s life; they see higher self-esteem, positive social interaction, improved academics to name a few.

We also know on a state and national scale how mentoring impacts the lives of youth. “The Mentoring Effect” report tell us that 55% of youth with mentors are more likely to enroll in college and youth who meet with a mentor are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs.

There is no specific profile of what youth or child needs a mentor. Growing up is challenging for all of us, no matter our family income or demographics. We at Partners believe in the value of having a mentor in the lives of the youth we adore in this county. We believe in partnering with parents and families to provide an excellent mentoring experience for their children. 

If you have questions or want to learn more about becoming a partner email us at

Erin Miller is the community-based mentoring program manager for Partners in Routt County.

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