Are you willing to make a difference in a child’s life? You might recall a person in your own life who gave you inspiration and acceptance, someone who showed you new experiences, listened to your ideas, and challenged you to fight through adversities. Many children need that person. That person could be you. The Y offers two ways to mentor children in Red Wing. 

COMMUNITY Y-PALS

Through Community Y-Pals you'll be connected with a child in the area, age 5 to 15, usually a child from a single-parent family. Often these children need another caring adult in their lives to provide them with support and friendship. Mentors usually spend one hour or more each week with their Y-Pals. Each pair is unique; you and your Y-Pal can decide what you do and how you spend the time. You're welcome to use the Y free of charge when you visit together. The Y also coordinates a number of Y-Pal events and activities throughout the year. A one-year commitment is required.

SCHOOL Y-PALS

If you become a School Y-Pal, you will meet your Y-Pal over the lunch hour at school. Children range from kindergarten through grade 4 and attend either Sunnyside or Burnside school. You will have lunch with your Y-Pal in the cafeteria, then listen to your Y-Pal read a book, help with homework in the library, take a walk together on the school walking path during recess, or do some other activity. A one-year commitment is required.

    CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD MENTOR

    • Kind
    • Compassionate
    • Respectful of self and others
    • Good at listening
    • Patient
    • Knowledgeable about boundaries and limitations of mentoring
    • Well-rounded
    • Humble
    • Wise in knowing when to seek further help for a Y-Pal
    • Perseverant
    • Able to articulate clearly and respectfully

    BENEFITS TO A CHILD

    Being paired with the right mentor can have lifelong benefits to a child or teen:

    • Stronger sense of self
    • Improved academic success
    • Broader vision of the world and his/her opportunities 
    • New awareness of experiences and attitudes
    • Greater sense of security and well being