The Mentoring Program presents an opening for building a strong relationship between underprivileged youths and professionals. A relationship with a non-parental adult influences positively the young person's perception of his or hers own strengths and abilities, enhancing self-esteem and giving them a different perspective to life's challenges. Under the Program, a support network of volunteers was formed, providing guidance to the youths, helping them in goal setting and follow up activities.
Underprivileged youths face many problems in terms of their social and economic integration. The responsible institutions and/or their families can't ensure that they receive the attention needed in order for them to fully develop their potential. They often lack self-confidence and motivation and they are poorly prepared when it comes to coping with real life situations. Therefore, they need positive role models and human interaction in order to be able to become an active part of the society.
A relationship with a non-parental adult, with the main goal of developing the young people social skills and abilities, influences positively their perception of self-worth and strengthens their motivation, while helping them be better suited to benefit from the support of their parents and providers.
Mentoring is especially important for at-risk youths, whose environment provides a limited number of positive role models and opportunities. As 40% of teenager's waking hours are spent without supervision or companionship, the engagement with a mentor presents a good way for teens to spend their free time, while keeping them away from unhealthy occupations and negative environment.