By Michael Heins
The Hill County Mentoring for Tomorrow is looking for a few good adults for its mentoring program.
HCMT is an umbrella group that was incorporated for fund-raising purposes.
"The purpose of HCMT's name is to make the public aware that the program is for all of Hill County," Margaret Meggs, president of HCMT, said.
The mentoring program is for Hill County's youth from sixth through eighth grades.
Meggs is also involved in Reach for Tomorrow, a program designed to provide mentors for girls.
"Boys and girls are always in need of mentors. There are not enough adults for the time and commitment it takes to be a mentor," Meggs said. "A couple of hours a week in contact with the youth and periodic meeting is all that it takes. Volunteers are asked to commit a few hours a week for one to three years."
Both programs meet together as a whole every three months. The girls meet monthly to bimonthly and the boys a little less frequently.
"The meetings are often related to education, self-esteem issues, career choices, and goal setting," Meggs said. "Mentors and youth also do things together outside the formal program.
"Matches are made with both youth and mentor in mind, so they may do numerous activities together (with parental permission), such as going to local sports events, skiing, building projects or even just going out for a snack and conversation."
HCMT provides a newsletter for the mentors and youth.
The mentor program started in 1993 with a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) with a $10,000 grant to establish a girls' mentor program called Reach for Tomorrow. The program emphasizes on reaching girls who might otherwise be overlooked.
"AAUW contributed a $2,000 grant later on. The latter grant helped to provide more structure for the program and organize a chart to see where the responsibility lays and what are the functions of the organization," Meggs said.
The grant money was also used to hire an independent consultant to assess the program for future development.
"The boys' program, called Young Men for Tomorrow, started with a grant from the Board of Crime Control and Vista Volunteers in 1997," Meggs added.
The focus of Young Men of Tomorrow is to ensure that the boys have an adult male to spend time with guiding them in life's opportunities and around life's obstacles.
The girls' mentoring program recruits in the spring and summer months and the boys' recruitment is ongoing.
The most important thing about the mentoring program is the impact that an adult friend can have on the life of a young person. Mentor pairs can learn from one another.
For information, contact Hill County Mentoring for Tomorrow at P.O. Box 68, Havre, MT 59501 or call 265-6206.