Lewis County Juvenile Court is in search of a youth mentorship coordinator to recruit and train volunteers to assist with a growing number of juveniles needing a positive adult role model, stated a news release from the county.
The Lewis County commissioners have earmarked $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to support a countywide youth mentoring program through 2026, the release stated. The youth mentor program was reportedly first envisioned by Lewis County Juvenile Court Probation Officer Lee Montgomery.
“Trauma is best dealt with when youth have interaction with a pro-social positive adult,” Montgomery said in a statement. “We want to make a difference in kids with mental health needs.”
According to the release, Juvenile Court Administrator Shad Hail said the county is now looking for the right person who can enlist the interest of qualified volunteers. He added that the program will foster ongoing partnerships with local schools and community organizations.
The program, he said in the release, would identify kids exhibiting signs of depression, isolation and withdrawal. Disconnection, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, is a common issue for youth today and is a major risk factor for suicide, mental health, substance abuse issues and dysfunctional relationships.
“The research shows that the best thing you can do for a kid is connect them with a positive adult,” Hail added. “When you can say, I made a difference in this kid’s life that will impact him or her forever; what more can you say better than that.”
Learn more about the Youth Mentorship Coordinator position or apply online at https://jobs.lewiscountywa.gov/#544.