The MILL to begin mentoring program for students

The MILL is introducing a new adult volunteer program, titled “One Caring Adult,” for mentors to become key contributors to the needs of students. The program will link adults in the Rockford area with kids from The MILL’s residential program and fulfill a need for mentoring in their lives.

“The impact of ‘One Caring Adult’ in a student’s life can be profound and change their life forever,” said Dr. Bob Thorud, president and CEO of The MILL. “This relationship will have a direct and lasting impression on the life of the student and provide a lasting and positive impression for the mentor as well.”

Area individuals are being sought to provide mentoring in the form of guidance, wisdom, maturity and support through interaction. Adults will be asked to provide one-on-one support in the form of conversation, activities, mentoring, tutoring or teaching specific skills to youth who will benefit from a caring adult’s time and attention. Adults will help students overcome obstacles, provide positive leadership and give them an opportunity to take part in more community events and community service projects.

“Students at The MILL will benefit in many ways by having a caring adult in their lives,” Thorud said. “Being a mentor for The MILL is something almost any caring adult can do. The only requirements are a willingness to make a new friend and a desire to share quality time with a young person. Those moments of friendship will make a permanent supportive impact only a mentor can bring to the life of a young person—and themselves.”

The MILL will work carefully to match each volunteer with the right student and to help ensure that the relationship will be rewarding for the student and the volunteer. Every mentor will be screened, trained and supervised. The proper safeguards are in place to bring this relationship along slowly. Trained management staff members carefully match students with the right adult to help develop their relationship. Mentors will share everyday activities such as playing sports, seeing movies, going over school work, visiting and utilizing the art room and woodshop, visiting museums, taking walks, or just enjoying conversation. Adults and students also will take part in community events. An annual “One Caring Adult” picnic will be held to celebrate the progress of the program.

Interested adults can fill out an application through Kathleen Kruse at 282-7758 or the Human Resources Department at The MILL and choose preferences that include gender, age, interests, times available and activities to be shared. Upon clearance from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), the adult will be matched with a student. Funding is needed to help offset program costs.

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