The Family Mentoring Program began in 2004 supporting 10 young families caught in the web of intergenerational poverty.
In 2004, Join Hands added our Family Mentoring Program, focusing on women and their children. All ten of the original mothers in the mentoring program had been participants in Girls Club when they were younger and were motivated to continue their education and improve the lives of their children. In 2017, the Family Mentoring Program expanded to serve 30 families with over 100 children. There are 10 – 15 volunteer mentors currently.
The young families were matched with volunteer families that provided regular support, encouragement and friendship. Participants committed to setting goals for themselves and their children and working toward those goals with the help of their mentors. They committed to attending weekly meetings, either with the program director or group support meetings with other program participants. In addition, the mentor and participating families had periodic family outings, fostering both stronger families and a stronger relationship between families.
All of the current participants in the Family Mentoring Program participated as children in the Girls Cub when it first began 20 years ago. They are now young women with children of their own, young women who are working hard to escape poverty and help their children have opportunities they never had.
In 2015, these young women were asked to serve on a Board Advisory Committee, helping guide the direction of Join Hands and the creation of THE DREAM PATH, our new family mentoring program, which we hope will be starting in the near future. Through The Dream Path, Join Hands will commit to walk with more families to help them make sure their children have the tools to succeed, to not just graduate from high school, but to go to college and graduate from college. The Dream Path will offer friendship and mentoring of parents for the sake of their children’s success, using a birth through post college curriculum and relationships as the foundation.