There’s a Hole in My Bucket… & Mentoring Can Solve It

by Josh Lawson, Director of Community Engagement, Antioch Community Church

Besides being one of the longest and most annoying children’s songs known to man, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” is actually a great representation of what community development feels like. If you haven’t heard the song before, it is a winding conversation between “Dear Liza” and “Dear Henry” where Henry is trying to fix the hole in his bucket, but his attempts to fix it only lead him to finding more problems. Eventually he is left back at the original problem: the hole in his bucket. We all know that there is a problem in our community, but all too often the solution to that problem only brings up more problems! The educational system is not any different.

We know that kids need a better education, but as we dig in deeper and try to come up with a solution, we begin to see a web of problems. Poverty, hunger, lack of parental involvement, homelessness and learning disabilities all come together to form a massive game of pick-up sticks.

All too often, the magnitude of the problem causes those who can create the greatest change to simply give up.

But, that is never the answer. You have to start somewhere. And, I believe that for our community, mentoring is a fantastic place to start.

Now, don’t let me fool you, mentoring is not a silver bullet. We will not bring an end to poverty by simply mentoring kids, BUT it is one of the key components to helping us build a better community.

Take a look at a few of these powerful stats:

  • Youth with mentors are: 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 25% less likely to begin using alcohol, 37% less likely to lie to a parent, and 32% less likely to hit someone.
  • Those with a mentor have also shown that they have better attitudes about school, higher college enrollment rates, enhanced self-esteem, improved interpersonal skills and decreased drop-out rates.
  • And those youth who graduate high school are less likely to be imprisoned, become a single mother or become unemployed.

Mentoring can make an incredible difference. January has been designated as National Mentoring Month, so it is the perfect time to set a goal to become a mentor for a youth this year. Even if you can’t be a mentor yourself, you can become an advocate for mentoring by encouraging others to get involved in the life of a young person. It matters and it is a small step in the right direction.

There is a hole in our bucket, but we can do something. We can be a mentor.

To find out more about being a mentor or to connect with a local mentoring agency, please feel free to email Josh Lawson at josh-lawson@aminternational.org. For a list of organizations in town with mentoring programs, click here: Mentoring Organizations in Waco.

josh picThis week’s Act Locally Waco blog post is by Josh Lawson, Director of Community Engagement at Antioch Community Church.  If you would be interested in blogging for Act Locally Waco, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org to express your interest.

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