YWCA offers mentoring to children, adults

WARREN – Children and adults are receiving assistance in learning with programs offered this winter at the YWCA of Warren.

Daphne Todd, teen program manager, said the teen mentoring program meets after school Monday through Thursday. High school students serve as mentors to elementary students in reading, math and with social skills.

The students come from Lincoln, Jefferson, McGuffey and Willard schools, often referred to the program by a teacher. The high school students are from LaBrae, Howland and Harding.

Todd said goals of the program are to increase skills, academic scores, and to provide younger students with peer and role models.The free program has been held for more than three years

Davion Christian, a fifth-grader, said his friends encouraged him to be part of the program, which he has found fun.

“It is helping me in my reading and math. I like coming here for the gym class,” he said, noting he enjoys the homework assistance and games. Christian said he wanted to do better in school while meeting new friends.

Briana Jenkins, a mentor from Harding, said she was a mentor first in the seventh and eighth grades, and when she started at Harding, she wanted to get back to mentoring.

Todd said the Steppin Up program, which is now referred to as Young Women of Excellence Program is for ages 16 to 30 offering mentoring and leadership development, self-esteem building, GED classes, job shadowing, and work experiences.

Todd, who is the program director for Steppin Up, said the program varies depending on where the student is with their education.

”Everyone’s goal is different. Some have a high school diploma and want to get into secondary education. Some are working on getting their GED,” she said.

Social workers and community volunteers help those prepare for a GED.

The program focuses on academic work such as math and literacy leading to attainment of a high school diploma or GED and exploration of careers.

The program also teaches life skills such as conflict resolution, health and wellness, parenting, healthy relations, leadership development and financial literacy, resume writing and interview skills.

Also at the YWCA, work is continuing on the residential apartments.

Kendra Roberts-Howard, executive director, said the apartments are on schedule to be completed by April for a May grand opening.

Roberts-Howard said in recent discussions held with the community leaders about local needs, the YWCA is focusing on women’s economic advancement, youth development, enrichment and supportive housing for women and families.

For information on any program, call 330-373-1010.