Simpson Launches the Mentoring and Youth Development Program

Posted on October 2nd, 2015


In February, Simpson launched the Mentoring & Youth Development Program for youth ages 10 -14. Research shows that the number of caring, supportive adults in a young person’s life is one important factor in resiliency, a key skill for long-term success.

The program pairs middle school students with an adult mentor for weekly meetings for at least one year. Together they work on exploring their community, set goals, and connect with enrichment activities. This program is an exciting step towards Simpson’s strategic initiative of offering services to all youth in our programs as a means of ending generational homelessness.

Cheryl and Zanaya are one of the first mentor/mentee pairs in the program. Zanaya, age 12, shared her thoughts about the program. Her family has been working with Simpson’s Family Housing Program for two years.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Charlotte Kinzley, Youth Program Coordinator:

In zanaya’s own words

When I first met my mentor, I really didn’t expect anything. I was hoping we could just have fun. I’m glad she’s not a grownup who is too serious, or acts like everything is a joke. She’s actually perfect. I think of Cheryl as a really good friend because I can tell her stuff. I’ve lately been kind of moody since a tragedy has happened with me and my family, but when I’m with Cheryl, I really can’t frown. I’m always smiling!

 My favorite part of the mentoring program at Simpson is going to the Humane Society because I really love animals and I’ve only been there once before. Lately we’ve been going to Open Arms to deliver food to chronically ill home-bound adults. I really like this because I really want to have an effect on people and I want to help. We’ve been doing it every week on Tuesday. Last week I couldn’t go, and they noticed! It makes me feel like I’m officially Cheryl’s “partner.”

 Another activity I have truly loved was going to the bookstore Wild Rumpus. What’s irregular but amazing is that they have animals! Without a doubt it is the best bookstore I have ever been to. Next week, Cheryl is going to take me to soccer camp because my dad doesn’t have a car and there weren’t any soccer opportunities near my house. Even though we have been doing a lot of things, sometimes we just go to a coffee shop and have