For more information call (816) 316-7000
or go to www.youthfriends.org
Click here to apply online for YouthFriends
What is YouthFriends?
YouthFriends connects young people, ages 5-18, with caring adult volunteers in schools. As positive role models, YouthFriends volunteers enhance young peoples' ability to succeed. YouthFriends began in 1995 in six Greater Kansas City area school districts. Since then, YouthFriends has expanded to more than 90 school districts in Greater Kansas City and the states of Kansas and Michigan. Within the first seven years YouthFriends had screened, trained and placed more than 15,000 volunteers, positively touching the lives of over 100,000 young people.
What do YouthFriends Do?
Nothing very complicated. In fact, it's the simple things that make YouthFriends so rewarding. It's the simple things young people really want from adults such as sharing common interests, someone to talk to, someone to listen or tutor in an academic subject. YouthFriends might read with a first grader, help middle school students with a special project, spend time with a young person who needs a friend or offer career guidance to a high school senior.
A study among Kansas City young people revealed that a key thing young people want is the involvement of more caring adults in their lives. Additionally, national studies document that young people with mentors show an improvement in attitude and are more likely to stay in school, achieve and aspire to better grades and go on to college.
Volunteer Flexibility & Choice
Volunteer choice and flexibility are hallmarks of YouthFriends. Volunteers choose from a variety of activities and select the age group with which they'd like to work -- either one-to-one or in a small group setting. They can select a school near their home or work. The minimum time commitment is one hour per week for eight weeks, though most YouthFriends volunteer for a semester or more. Currently more than 400 individuals have been YouthFriends for five years or more.
Screening & Training
YouthFriends volunteers are thoroughly screened and well trained. Training sessions are free of charge and offered regularly.