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Mentorship Program for At-Risk High Schoolers Seeks Volunteers

Local professionals have the opportunity to contribute to the Arlington community through new a mentorship program managed by Arlington’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Services Unit.

RISE — an acronym for respect, integrity, self-esteem and empowerment — pairs at-risk kids with an adult in their community. Mentors help their mentees develop social, emotional and practical skills, program coordinator Erika Yalowitz wrote in an email to ARLnow.

“The objective is to provide young Arlingtonians a path to achieve their dreams,” Yalowitz wrote.

Yalowitz says participants in the program are usually Arlington high school students with histories of delinquency or status offenses, like breaking curfew or skipping school, or those who have been otherwise identified as at-risk. Participation is voluntary for mentees.

The group of mentors and teens typically meets in the evening on the first Wednesday of every month to participate in activities like hiking, bowling or mini-golf. Those interested in mentoring must commit to the program for a minimum of one year, submit to background and criminal record checks and attend on-site training.

Local businesses can also support the program by donating to help cover the cost of meals and activities. Anyone interested can contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Photo courtesy Erika Yalowitz

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