Youth Villages stories

Mentoring Matters - National Mentoring month

Inspiration becomes a two-way street for young adults and Youth Villages’ staff through Georgia’s mentoring program

Jan 25, 2024 | Blog, LifeSet

As Youth Villages recognizes National Mentoring Month in January, our staff and valued community members volunteer with children and young adults to provide them with extra support through the mentoring program year-round. According to, quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.

Lauren Crabtree, the principal at the Inner Harbour Campus School, is also a mentor and has found inspiration in the relationship with her mentee, Ky (they/them). They are a 19-year-old, first-year student at Georgia Highlands College, and a LifeSet Scholar.

Ky has found a lot of support from those in their community, and when they were paired with Lauren as their mentor, they simply said “I just need somebody to talk to.” That simple statement was the start of what Lauren describes as a friendship.

My mentee has given me a better understanding of just how important it is to have someone who is consistently there.

- Lauren

“They have inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and be open to learning about new things. When I have busy or hard days with my job and family, I can always count on my mentee to be excited to talk to me.”

Being a mentor to a young person can have many positive impacts that last well into adulthood. Youth who were mentored through Youth Villages mentoring program has had success in several key areas of life:

  • Grades in school improved with 93% reporting grades of C or higher
  • 89% reported no involvement with the law and no suspensions or expulsions from school
  • 93% reported no use of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • 93% of the children who had mentors felt the relationship was beneficial to them
Lauren spends quality time with mentee, Ky at a food hall in Marietta, GA

Lauren (right) spends quality with mentee, Ky (left) at a food hall in Marietta, Ga.

There are also positive impacts on those who serve as mentors. It can lead to leadership and managements skills while fostering an opportunity to give back to those in the community.

“Now that I am matched with my mentee, I find myself realizing that I do have the time and the excuses are long gone,” Lauren said. “We look forward to our time together and I find myself telling my mentee to call me anytime and that I am never too busy for them.”

Lauren says being a mentor was simply taking a chance to learn something about herself while impacting someone else’s life and encourages anyone to volunteer and get involved.

Youth Villages is seeking volunteers for mentors to make an impact on a young person, that will last well into adulthood. There are many ways you can get involved in the mentoring program, by visiting the Youth Villages Mentoring Page.

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