Director's Note: December
Over the last several years, Youth RISE's mentorship approach and efforts in our community has captured the attention of organizations across multiple communities. Honored to be a part of legacy projects, collaborate with nationally recognized nonprofits, and develop lasting partnerships with others who aspire toward a similar vision of "reaching the unreachable", Youth RISE has been able to serve as a pillar of hope to our youth, even as they face harsh environments and circumstances that otherwise would deter them from succeeding.
The steps it has taken over the years to develop an effective program that operates solely on a volunteer basis, has been humbling and pushed me, as a person, to grow in so many ways. I've learned that I will never know everything; that what I first think or perceive is going on, probably isn't what really is happening; that the majority of leadership begins with "leading by example"; and effectiveness and influence takes much longer than people first anticipate. Mentorship revolves around trust, gaining trust takes time, and once it is gained, it must never be broken.
To be successful, I had to stop planning, stop talking about all of the problems I see, and take action with a fearlessness of failure. If one of the kids we mentor fails, we tell them to get back up and keep moving, keep trying, don't give up. It’s a mentality of "Newton's Law" to stay in motion and don't quit, don't be afraid, keep your momentum, because objects that are in motion, stay in motion.
I challenge our community to stay in motion. Don’t become lax, don't give up when the world faces challenges, and never fear failure. Failure is something we need and can lead to growth, learning, and social change. Sometimes mentoring and leading means that you make sacrifices for others and that you may sometimes carry undeserved burdens, but it also can become one of the most rewarding things in life. When a child tells you that "you are for real my hero", or that "you are my mom", own it and take the opportunity to make a lasting difference in their lives and on the world.
Thank you to all of the volunteers and partnerships that have empowered Youth RISE to grow into a lasting mentorship organization within the Kansas City community.
Youth R.I.S.E. is a 501c3 nonprofit youth mentorship organization comprised of 100 percent volunteers from various areas within law enforcement, educational institutions, and private sector businesses. Youth R.I.S.E. mentors and provides support to youth between the ages of 14 and 19 years of age.
We welcome your donation.