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General · 13th August 2012
Tara Jordan
We all know the importance of a supportive relationship in our lives. Can you give three hours a week to help a young person?

Yes, but what would we do together?
Anything that you feel passionate about as long as it is done safely!
Existing mentors spend time with their buddies just having fun (i.e. walking the dog, baking cookies, fishing, playing board games, playing or watching a sport, etc.).

I need support and preparation!
You will get this.
• Tara Jordan, Campbell River and Quadra KidStart Coordinator, will guide you through an orientation.
• Tara will be there for you when you need advice.
• You will also have opportunities to take additional training and meet with other mentors to share experiences.

Why KidStart?
As we get to know our mentee’s circumstances, we usually discover they are, in so many ways, just like us at that age. They have the same hopes, aspirations, and fears. The main difference is often they have not had the same advantages we have had, or have not yet had that key life experience that turns things around for them and that sets them on a different life path.

Each mentee waiting for a mentor has experiences that indicate their need for support. The death of a parent, being bullied at school, financial stress due to a parent losing their job, or a loved one struggling with substance abuse are all reasons that a child will be identified as needing a caring adult friend.

Here on Quadra and in Campbell River, The John Howard Society of North Island’s KidStart program allows us to give children and youth the opportunity to make better choices and have wider experiences. JHSNI has been providing KidStart to vulnerable kids for the past six years. It’s the only mentoring program for kids in need in our area.
Quadra mentors and mentees are currently having fun exploring the great recreational opportunities on the island. There are still three young people (between the ages of 6-18) on Quadra right now waiting for volunteer mentors to spend a few hours a week with them.

Making a Difference
When a caring mentor takes the time to notice his or her mentee's accomplishments, strengths, skills, and other positive actions, the child's self-esteem and confidence blossom in many ways. With increased self-confidence comes increased resiliency to deal with life’s struggles. With increased resiliency children have more opportunity to live the happy and fulfilling lives they deserve.

If you want to support KidStart but don’t have the time to be a mentor yourself, you can sponsor a child or youth’s involvement in the program through monthly payments as a KidStart Champion, or make a one-time donation. Donations over $10 receive charitable tax receipts. KidStart Champions receive a profile of the child they sponsor, annual updates on how they are doing, a KidStart Champion decal, JHSNI membership, and a tax receipt. KidStart is funded solely by grants, donations and gaming funds, and needs community support.

Consider sharing your time and interests with the next generation and developing a friendship with someone who is really looking forward to meeting you. Contact KidStart Coordinator Tara Jordan (250-286-0611 ext. 113 or tarajhsni.bc.ca) to make a difference in the life of a young person today. Visit www.jhsni.bc.ca and click on the KidStart Champion link (top right) to find out more.