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Goodwill mentoring program stands ready

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January is National Mentoring Month, and this year Goodwill is celebrating 15 years of the national mentoring movement by expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community's young people with caring adults.

According to Opportunity Index (2013), one in seven young people ages 16 to 24 is disconnected from school and work. Goodwill is helping area youth overcome disadvantages, avoid delinquency and achieve success through the Goodwill GoodGuides® youth mentoring program. The effort is part of a national program that helps youth finish school and transition into productive careers with the guidance of trusted adults.

"Goodwill has a long history of assisting people to achieve the skills they need to help them find jobs," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "A crucial part of that history is making sure that families are strong. GoodGuides helps keep youth who are at risk on a path toward a better future. That's good for our youth and our communities."

The GoodGuides program is made possible through a $3 million grant to Goodwill Industries International from the U.S. Department of Justice, which is invested in 13 local communities across the nation, including Peoria and Springfield, as well asBoston, Massachusetts, New Orleans, Louisiana, Scranton, Pennsylvania,; Dayton, Ohio,; Astoria, New York; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Greenville, South Carolina; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida, and Spokane, Washington.  

The GoodGuides national youth mentoring program is designed to help youth ages 12 to 17 prepare for school completion, develop work skills, identify career paths, and transition to post-high school activities, including post-secondary training and productive work. Most importantly, mentors serve as trusted and reliable resources to help mentees fulfill their goals and find job success.

In local communities across the nation, GoodGuides is having a positive impact on the lives of youth as well as the adult mentors who volunteer to work with them.

Since 2009, GoodGuides has served more than 11,400 youth, trained and supported more than 6,700 mentors, and invested more than 667,100 mentoring hours in communities across the nation.

For more than 110 years, Goodwill Industries International's network of 163 independent, community-based organizations have helped youth overcome disadvantaging conditions through financial education, mentoring and job-readiness skills training, including résumé writing and interview preparation.

If you would like to volunteer to be a mentor or know of a young person who would benefit from this program, please visit