Reaching Back to Our Youth is a non-profit mentoring program focused on the most at risk youth. It was founded in 2009 by Victor Malin Jr. who was himself an at risk youth. With the influence of mentors he was able to turn his life around, graduate from college and form the organization. What makes our mentoring programs unique is that our goal is to match youth with mentors who have personally gone through and overcome the challenges that the youth is currently facing. Our goal is to create matches based on several specific compatibility factors that will allow a tighter bond between the youth and their mentor. It is our belief that having been through and overcome a difficult situation in your past puts you in an advantageous position to help guide someone going through that same situation in their present. It is with this ideology that embodies the concept of, “Reaching Back”.
The primary way we mentor is through experience. Many of our mentors have been at risk youth themselves and understand the pitfalls young people face. Our mentors can relate to the youth we serve and the young people recognize and respect us for that. Not all mentors have experience being an at risk youth but all have a heart to help and can draw on experience from those who have been at risk youth. All mentors are productive members of society who have jobs, families, responsibilities, and carry themselves in a positive manner that the youth they mentor can look to as a positive role model.
Our mentors have been a constant weekly presence within the YDF since 2010 and were recently recognized by probation with the outstanding volunteer group award for 2013 which we are very grateful and proud of. The youth we serve respect and appreciate our friendship and we continue our relationships originated in the YDF beyond as well, when the youth are transferred to County jail, placement, or Youth Authority.
When I was young I was always a reachable kid. I just didn't have anybody that I really looked up to and respected enough to listen to...