You can make a difference through mentorship
January 11, 2024
Submitted by Minette Smith
Come celebrate January as National Mentoring Month with the Wahkiakum Youth Mentoring Program (WYMP)! The coordinators are inviting the community to an informational meeting at the Hope Center on Jan. 30th at 6 p.m. WYMP’s mission is to strengthen youth connections to our local community by providing opportunities through adult support and community involvement. The goal is to build healthy minded, confident, and skilled young leaders.
In 2022, due to staffing changes and Covid-19, Wahkiakum Youth Mentoring Program was in danger of being shut down. In 2023, with the help of the community, it is once again a huge success! The coordinators are grateful for various organizations including churches, clubs, and local government leaders who have helped get the word out. Most of all they are grateful for an amazing group of volunteers who have stepped forward to serve as mentors.
WYMP is open to anyone in Wahkiakum County, adult or youth K - 12. Adult mentors are matched with youth mentees based on shared interests. Mentors are asked to commit to one year of service, during which they meet with their mentee for approximately four hours per month. Parents are welcome to join in the fun at monthly group activities for mentors and mentees. Anyone interested in joining WYMP can do so by filling out an application online: http://www.co.wahkiakum.wa.us/540/Wahkiakum-Youth-Mentoring-Program.
The program receives much of its funding from Washington State Health Care Authority by way of the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative, a grant provided to high-needs communities across the state to fund SUD prevention and mental health promotion efforts.
Although Wahkiakum Health & Human Services serves as the fiscal agent for that grant, WYMP would not exist without the support of our community. The program has received monetary donations from the non-profit Wahkiakum Community Network for items that grant funding does not cover. Folks who work at the Community Garden donated plants, pots and soil; and various individuals have donated after school snacks and sack lunches to feed everyone at our group activities. Lucky Mud Disc Golf invited the group to learn the game and play the course, and Heritage Bible Church hosted a really fun Bunko night. Mentors have offered to lead a few group activities, including rock painting and pickle ball; and this month one of our community members is teaching the group how to play chess. The Mariners donated tickets during the summer, and the group was able to borrow a van from Wahkiakum on the Move to attend a game in Seattle.
If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor and cannot attend the informational meeting on January 30th , please contact Minette Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-795-8630, ext. 224. New mentors will be trained in late February or early March and matched to mentees soon after that. Coordinators are looking forward to celebrating National Mentoring Month with you!
Minette Smith is the Coalition Coordinator for
Wahkiakum Community Network